When observing a Montessori classroom, one of the many things that might strike the observer is the seemingly chaotic nature of the classroom. Children are moving around the room, choosing activities, talking with one another, looking out the window, or eating a snack. And the teacher? They are most likely sitting quietly somewhere, maybe giving a lesson to a child, but not readily visible. For most people, this is the opposite of the learning environment that they grew up with – classrooms full of children sitting at their desks in straight rows, with the teacher at the front of the room leading a lesson. So when faced with the hum of activity in a Montessori classroom, it’s only natural to question how much learning is actually going on in a place where the children seem to be running the show. If everyone is doing their own thing, how can we be sure that anything is actually getting done? The answer is simple – freedom within limits!
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