Dr. Maria Montessori’s approach is respect for the child as a worthy individual, occupied with the task of developing himself/herself into a mature human adult. She observed children’s need for independence, for self-confidence as adequate people, for control over their own impulses and emotions as well as a natural curiosity and desire to learn.
She observed in young children a phenomenon she called the “absorbent mind”. Children can absorb information from their surroundings without any conscious, tedious effort. Learning does not have to be forced upon them. If the environment is orderly and readily accessible and if the children are free to work through their own cycles of activity at their own pace, they can learn to read, write and calculate in the same natural way that they learned to walk and talk.