The Twelve Points of the Montessori Method
1. It is based on years of patient observation of the child nature.
2. It has proved itself of universal application. Within a single generation it has been tried with complete success with children of almost every civilized nation. Race, color, climate, nationality, social rank, type of civilization – all these make no difference to its successful application.
3. It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.
4. It is based on the child’s imperious need to learn by doing. At each stage in the child’s mental growth, corresponding occupations are proved by means of which he develops his faculties.
5. While it offers the child a maximum of spontaneity, it never-the less enables him to reach the same, or even a higher, level of scholastic attainment as under the old systems.
6. Though it does away with the necessity of coercion by means of rewards and punishments, it achieves a higher discipline than formerly. It is an active discipline which originates within the child and it is not imposed from without.
7. It is based on a profound respect for the child’s personality and removes from him the preponderating influence of the adult, thus leaving him room to grow in biological independence. Hence the child is allowed a large measure of liberty (not license) which forms the basis of real discipline.
8. It enables the teacher to deal with each child individually in each subject, and thus guide him according to his individual requirements.
9. Each child works at his own pace. Hence the quick child is not held back by the slow, nor is the latter, in trying to keep up with the former, obliged to flounder along hopelessly out of his depth. Each stone in mental edifice is “well and truly laid” before the next is added.
10. It does away with the competitive spirit of its train of baneful results. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help – which is joyfully given and gratefully received.
11. Since the child works from his own free choice, without competition and coercion, he is freed from danger of overstrain, feelings of inferiority, and other experiences which are apt to be the unconscious cause of profound mental disturbances in later life.
12. Finally, the Montessori Method develops the whole personality of the child, not merely his intellectual faculties but also his powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements. By living as a free member of a real social community, the child is trained in those fundamental social qualities which form the basis of good citizenship.*Taken from the Montessori Revolution in Education by E. M. Standing.
You might recognize this from a post from last summer, but it's worth reviewing.
In Montessori, children's work and learning are called jobs. Jobs become discoveries and lead to the desire to do more jobs, more learning. The children pick the jobs they want to do, this teaches them how to make choices in spending their time wisely.