Montessori education starts with the principle that children are natural learners. They are intrinsically motivated to seek learning experiences and work toward mastery. By providing an enriched classroom with materials specifically chosen to develop cognitive skills, all students build a strong foundation for a life-long love of learning.
According to UVA professor, Angela Lillard, the Eight Principles of Montessori education are:
- Movement and cognition are closely entwined, and movement can enhance thinking and learning.
- Learning and well-being are improved when people have a sense of control over their lives.
- People learn best when they are interested in their learning.
- Tying extrinsic rewards to an activity, like money for reading or high grades for tests, negatively impacts motivation to engage in that activity when the reward is withdrawn.
- Collaborative arrangements can be conducive to learning.
- Learning situated in a meaningful context is often deeper and richer than learning in abstract contexts.
- Particular forms of adult interaction are associated with more optimal child outcomes.
- Order in the environment is beneficial to children.
Source: Angela Lillard, Montessori, Science Behind the Genius, (2005).