THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT
Children experience the world through their senses.
The Sensorial Area
Montessori understands that children experience the world through their senses. This is why we advocate independent learning; the child must do the work of exploration themselves to truly understand the world around them.
The Sensorial area provides precise materials that isolate for a single quality present in nature and used in everyday life. For example; length, weight, temperature, colour, diatomic scale, pressure etc.
"The children are free to explore these materials in their own way and to take ownership over the discoveries they make."
Each activity has an inherent control of error that allows the child to use their own reason, critical faculty and capacity for drawing distinctions. This prepares the individual to trust their own powers of reasoning and to find answers and solutions by and for themselves.
Additionally, the child is given ample opportunities to apply their newly acquired knowledge to the environment. For example, use of the tasting bottles brings the child to the identification of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. The child can later explore these qualities during meal times and cooking class thus expanding and deepening their connection to the world.