The prepared environment
by Betzabé Lillo
Maria Montessori found that children learn best when their learning context (Prepared Environment) is harmonious. If the educational environment and the teacher are receptive to their stages of development, needs and learning styles, meaningful learning will be achieved. A Prepared Environment can generate the basic conditions for learning in harmony through the free choice of work, responsibility, a positive self-image and building a collective identity which allow all those who are part of that community to have more active participation in their learning process.
Her Prepared Environment proposal involves both a Physical Prepared Environment and a Psychological one, where the educational team designs favorable conditions for the social construction of knowledge as permitted by the characteristics of development each student has, because as noted by Vygotsky, “knowledge is the result of the social interaction; we become aware of ourselves through interaction with others, and we also learn the use of symbols that allow us to think about increasingly complicated ways”. Thus, the educational process takes place in a Physical Prepared Environment where links, limits and agreements, or in other words, the elements that allow the construction of an individual and collective identity, are developed.
This sense of belonging to a group and the cultural identification generate a new neurological and psychological disposition that allows students to take responsibility for their learning paths and thus learn in harmony either individually or by groups, depending on their needs.
Besides, the physical Prepared Environment seeks to develop autonomy, cognitive and social-emotional skills, error estimation, tolerance, solidarity and cooperation.
We invite you to visit our Prepared Environments in Imagine Montessori School.