What Does It Mean to “Follow the Child”?

The Montessori Method is founded on Maria Montessori’s educational philosophy. Her basic principle was to “follow the child.” A Montessori classroom is carefully prepared to allow the child to work with materials, converse with friends independently and to allow for the joy of self-discovery. Teachers introduce materials and children choose throughout the day, often again and again, working and discovering, and ultimately mastering ideas. Lessons are given, with the goal for the child to discover answers by using the “auto-didactic,” or “self-correcting” materials that are found only in Montessori classroom.