The Montessori method places an emphasis was placed on self-determination and self-realization. This entails developing a concern for others and discipline and to do this children engage in exercises de la vie pratique – exercises in daily living. These and other exercises function like a ladder – allowing the child to pick up the challenge and to judge their progress. The essential thing is for the task to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality.
This connects with a further element in the Montessori programme – decentring the teacher. The teacher is the ‘keeper’ of the environment. While children get on with their activities the task is to observe and to intervene from the periphery.