The classroom environment offers a level of freedom. This has many purposes. The untrained eye could therefore mistakenly interpret the Montessori method as a “laissez fair” method. However, the freedom offered always has built-in boundaries. It reflects real life, in which we can make our own decisions, as long as it does not put others at a disadvantage.
In the Montessori school, the educational environment simulates real life. We are preparing children for the world, and there is not always someone who tells you what to do, how to do it, when to do it and with whom! So let’s practice in a safe environment!
The classroom offers materials, activities and lessons related to the development of all characteristics of that age range. It is what we call a prepared, well thought-through environment for a specific level of development. Within this, children have a certain freedom to choose what they do, with whom, and for how long they do it. At the same time, boundaries are set in terms of the variety of work and that the work is done in a productive manner which is not disruptive to other’s work. As they go along during the day several decisions and choices need to be made.
Problem solving and decision-making processes are made in the neo cortex part of the brain. This is the area where logical thinking evolves. It involves both the left and right side of the brain. The left side is responsible for analysis and synthesis and the right side housing the creative processes. Allowing stimulation to both sides of the brain from an early age, stimulates higher brain functioning and integration of the two sides.
The development of logical thinking requires a lot of experiences and practice. Together with the emotional awareness of having a level of control in one’s own life gives the development a great boost!