Montessori pedagogy

The Montessori Method: 10 fundamental principles, history and benefits

A child plays a Montessori-inspired game with a tray of cosmetics on a bed.

The Montessori Method: discover its 10 fundamental principles for a positive and effective education

Montessori philosophy is an educational method developed by Maria Montessori, an Italian pedagogue and physician. The method is based on the development of autonomy, self-confidence and respect for each child's rhythm.

In this article, we'll introduce you to the fundamental principles of the Montessori philosophy, its history and its benefits.


Montessori Method


10 fundamental principles of Montessori philosophy

Montessori philosophy is based on several fundamental principles that are at the heart of this method of education. Here is an in-depth presentation of these essential principles:

1. Children as central players in their own learning

The Montessori method considers the child to be the main actor in his or her own learning. Montessori parents emphasize the development of intrinsic motivation and encourage children to explore and learn for themselves, their interests and natural curiosity.

2. The prepared environment

A key aspect of the Montessori method is creating a prepared environment, specially designed to foster children's autonomy, learning and development. This environment includes furniture adapted to children's size, accessible and logically organized learning materials and resources, and a safe and caring environment.

3. Montessori materials

Montessori materials is designed to encourage active, sensory learning. Each material has a specific teaching objective and is designed to be self-correcting.The materials are also adapted to different stages of development, encouraging exploration, experimentation and discovery. The materials are also adapted to the different stages of a child's development, encouraging exploration, experimentation and discovery.

4. The role of the educator/parent

The Montessori educator plays a key role in implementing the Montessori method. His role is to observe the child, prepare the environment and guide the child in his learning.The Montessori educator acts as a facilitator and supporter, respecting each child's choices, rhythms and needs. The Montessori educator acts as a facilitator and supporter, respecting each child's choices, rhythms and needs.

5. Sensitive periods

The Montessori philosophy recognizes the existence of sensitive periods during which the child is particularly receptive à learning certain skills or knowledge. By observing and identifying these sensitive periods, the Montessori educator can propose appropriate activities and experiences, enabling the child to take full advantage of these learning opportunities.

6. Holistic development

The Montessori method aims to support the child's overall development, taking into account his or her physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs. This holistic approach enables harmonious child developmentby promoting well-being and fulfillment at every level.

7. Experiential learning

In the Montessori philosophy, learning is based on direct, hands-on experience. Children are encouraged to manipulate the materials experiment and explore their environment to discover and understand the world around them. This active approach to learning promotes the construction of knowledge and the development of skills in a meaningful and lasting way.

8. Cooperation and community

The Montessori method emphasizes cooperation, collaboration and learning in community. Montessori classes are often organized in mixed-age groups, allowing children tolearn from each other and develop social and emotional skills such as empathy, sharing and mutual respect.

9. Peace education

The Montessori method also aims to promoting peace and harmonyThe aim is to promote a culture of peace, both individually and globally. Children are encouraged to resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully, to become aware of their responsibility towards others and the environment, and to develop a spirit of openness and tolerance towards cultural, social and individual differences.

10. Adaptability and flexibility

The Montessori philosophy encourages adaptability and flexibility, recognizing that each child is unique and that children's needs and interests evolve over time. Montessori educators constantly seek to adapt and adjust their approach based on observations and feedback, in order to better meet the specific needs of each child and foster his or her optimal development.

In short, the fundamental principles of the Montessori philosophy are based on a child-centered approach, a prepared environment, specific teaching materials, the educator's role as guide, consideration of sensitive periods, holistic development, experiential learning, cooperation and community, peace education, as well as adaptability and flexibility.

This method of education aims to provide a caring and stimulating environment to enable each child to reach his or her full potential and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in life.

Child playing a montessori math game

The history of Montessori philosophy

The Montessori Method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian pedagogue, physician and educator born in 1870. Here's an overview of the history of the Montessori philosophy and the life of its founder.

Maria Montessori's beginnings

Maria Montessori grew up in a rapidly changing Italy, marked by the unification of the country and numerous social changes. She was theone of the first women to obtain a medical degree in ItalyThis made her a pioneering figure for women of her time. During her studies, Montessori developed a particular interest in psychiatry and the education of children with special needs.

The first educational experiments

Working with children with intellectual and learning disabilities, Maria Montessori quickly realized that traditional educational methods were not meeting their needs.

She began experimenting with new approaches, building on the work of Jean Itard and Édouard Séguin, and in carefully observing the children to understand their needs and interests.

The creation of the first "Casa dei Bambini

In 1907, Maria Montessori had the opportunity to open her first school, the "Casa dei Bambini" (Children's House), in an underprivileged area of Rome.

It was in this context that she developed and put into practice the principles of her educational method, creating a prepared environment, designing appropriate teaching materials and observing the children's reactions and progress.

The results achieved by the children at Casa dei Bambini quickly attracted attention and aroused great interest in the Montessori method.

Spreading the Montessori philosophy

Over the years, Maria Montessori continued to refine her method and train educators. Her philosophy spread rapidly throughout Europe and the rest of the world, with the opening of numerous Montessori schools and the creation of dedicated associations and training centers. Montessori also wrote several books on education, including " Science education "(1909) and "L'enfant" (1948), which helped spread his method and ideas.

Maria Montessori's legacy

Maria Montessori died in 1952, but her philosophy and method of education continue to influence the world of education to this day. Montessori schools exist in many countries and cater for children of all ages, from infancy to adolescence.

The Montessori philosophy continues to evolve and adapt to the challenges and needs of the 21st century, integrating scientific advances and new knowledge about child development and learning processes. Today, the Montessori method is considered one of the world's most respected and influential educational approaches.

The impact of Montessori philosophy on contemporary education

The Montessori Method has inspired and influenced many pedagogues and educational researchers, beyond the Montessori schools themselves. Its principles, such as the importance of autonomy, active learning, holistic education and respect for each child's individual rhythms, are now widely recognized and applied in many educational contexts.

What's more, Maria Montessori's work paved the way for other innovative educational approaches, such as Reggio Emilia pedagogy, democratic education and active pedagogy schools. Research in neuroscience and educational psychology has also confirmed the relevance and effectiveness of many of the principles of the Montessori Method, reinforcing the credibility of this approach.

Challenges and prospects

Despite the success and influence of the Montessori philosophy, challenges remain in maintaining and developing this method in today's educational context. These include the need to train more Montessori educators, to adapt the method to new technologies and societal issues, and to promote greater accessibility and diversity within Montessori schools.

In this context, the Montessori philosophy must continue to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of children, families and society. However, the fundamental principles of this method, such as respect for the child, the importance of the prepared environment and learning through experience, remain solid pillars on which to build in order to continue to offer quality education and foster the development of each child.

In conclusion, the history of Montessori philosophy is marked by the pioneering educational experiences of Maria Montessori, the worldwide dissemination of her method and the enduring influence of her principles on contemporary education. Despite the challenges and changes in the educational context, the Montessori philosophy continues to inspire and transform education, providing a caring and stimulating environment for the children of the 21st century.

Little girl playing with a Montessori abacus

The benefits of Montessori philosophy

The Montessori philosophy has many advantages for children and their families. Here are some of them in greater detail:

Developing autonomy

By encouraging children to do things for themselves and take the initiative, the Montessori method fosters autonomy and responsibility. Children learn to organize themselves, take care of their environment and solve problems independently. This prepares them to face future challenges with confidence and self-assurance.


By providing a secure, caring environment, the Montessori method helps children develop self-esteem and confidence in their abilities. Mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, encouraging children to try new things and persevere in the face of difficulties.

Respecting individual rhythms

The Montessori philosophy takes into account the different rhythms and development of each child, proposing activities adapted to their needs and level. This enables children to progress at their own pace, without comparing themselves to others, and to develop their skills harmoniously.


The Montessori method encourages children to explore, experiment and express their creativity. Thanks to an environment rich in materials and possibilities, children are encouraged to use their imagination and develop their creative thinking. This encourages intellectual and artistic development.


The Montessori method emphasizes cooperation, sharing and respect for others. Children learn to interact with their peers, to consider the needs and feelings of others, and to work together to solve problems or complete projects. This helps them develop their social and emotional skills.

Intrinsic motivation

The Montessori method encourages children to be motivated by their curiosity and desire to learn, rather than by external rewards. This intrinsic motivation fosters commitment and perseverance in learning, while reinforcing the pleasure of learning and personal satisfaction.

Holistic education

The Montessori method considers the child as a whole, taking into account his or her physical, emotional, social and intellectual needs. This holistic approach ensures the child's harmonious development, promoting well-being and fulfillment at all levels.

All in all, the Montessori philosophy offers many advantages for the development and fulfillment of children. With its emphasis on autonomy, self-confidence, respect for individual rhythms and holistic education, this method of education prepares children to face life's challenges with confidence and competence.


The Montessori philosophy is a method of education based on respect for individual rhythms, autonomy and self-confidence. Provide your child with an environment conducive to his or her blossoming and harmonious development.

If you'd like to find out more about the Montessori philosophy and how it can be applied at home, have a look at specialist literatureto take part in workshops or exchange ideas with Montessori education professionals.



About Emma Lambert

A passionate educator and expert in the Montessori method, recognized for her deep understanding of this pedagogy and her commitment to children's education.

One thought on “La méthode Montessori : 10 principes fondamentaux, histoire et avantages

  1. Pingback: Maria Montessori: the inspiring story of the creator of the Montessori educational method - Les jeux Montessori

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