It was through observation that Maria Montessori, as a medical doctor and scientist, discovered many great and previously unexplored facets of the child.
- She discovered that basic construction occurs during the first six years of the child’s life.
- Children largely construct themselves; the adult can only provide the best tools for the child to utilize.
- The basic, core elements of the child’s culture are acquired during the first plane of development.
- The character of the child cannot be formed by the adult.
- She observed and labeled sensitive periods, the absorbent mind, and human tendencies.
- She found that supposed discipline problems disappear with purposeful, concentrated, freely chosen work that channels energy; energy is ever-present, but can be channeled into constructive or destructive ends.
- The child has a tremendous ability to concentrate.
- Montessori discovered the concept of the normalized child, a concept not found in other fields of early childhood education even a century later, but that has been observed continuously since its first manifestations in the earliest children’s houses.
- She discovered the importance of a greater emphasis on indirect preparation, a concept only now just beginning to catch on in other child development fields.
- She discovered the child’s need for freedom to choose, to repeat and to move, again concepts that are only partially catching on elsewhere.
- Children love silence.
- Children have an intrinsic desire to learn; they do not need rewards of any extrinsic sort.
The child requires a natural scientist to discover him, one who will gather data patiently and objectively, reflect on the information gathered and once arriving at a conclusion will take the appropriate steps to act upon said conclusion.