Infant Community18 - 36 months
The prepared environment in this phase is called ‘Infant Community’. The girls and boys use a classroom prepared with real organic materials that encourage their understanding of the space that surrounds them and a feeling of being part of it. The internal classroom has direct access to an enclosed exterior space, in order to always allow movement, which is so crucial to practice at this stage. The materials are completely accessible and available, and appropriate for their size and mobility.
In this phase the children learn grace and courtesy, as the basis for good manners, for respect and for an education for peace. These lessons help the children build their social skills, respect for social boundaries, their autonomy and that of others, without anxiety or conflict. The most beautiful element of these presentations is that they are appropriate for all cultures, as they prioritize respect for others, cordiality, kindness, community service and goodness.
In Montessori schools this work is essential to achieving a positive attitude in life and thus for learning. We take this so seriously that we model for the students how to order the materials, how to walk inside the classroom, how to place a flowerpot, how to greet visitors, how to apologize if we bump into someone, how to enter the room without running after the break.