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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET |  The Importance of Childhood Environments: What Does the Research Say? | Montessori Educational Approach Maria Montessori’s beliefs regarding the ways children learn best are mirrored within the Montessori educational environment. Montessori believed that children grow within six-year cycles of development, each characterized by certain sensitivities that must be recognized and enhanced by both adults and the physi- cal environment. Every Montessori classroom exhibits a “prepared environment” containing “self-correcting materials,” which allow the child to independently interact with the materials and then self-check for accuracy, all housed within a number of curriculum areas (Edwards 2002, 9). Montessori spaces should reflect beauty and order, allowing the child to have long spans of time during which she is immersed in real work. To stress the importance of a child’s develop- ment through engaging in meaningful work, classroom materials within the Montessori Maria Montessori’s belief that a child will respond positively to a carefully prepared environment, filled with self-correcting materials arranged in left-to-right progression on orderly shelves, is evidenced within any Montessori classroom. The works are arranged within curriculum areas, allowing for freedom within limits and a child’s growing ability to practice self-discipline. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL | 13 |