No child needs any external pressure to learn its own native tongue or to walk upright. Suitable role models within its environment are all that it needs as a motivator. Only the time at which a particular step of learning happens varies individually from child to child, as we recognise very well. We are convinced that the same is true for mathematics, reading, writing and other branches, as long as the environment is right for learning. Where there is a refusal to learn, we often find that the natural learning processes are disturbed, prevented or even violated by inappropriate methods such as neglect, pressure, over-stretching, under-stretching, etc. The Montessori Method assumes that each child has a fundamental desire to learn and that its whole being is arranged from its very foundation to make progress step by step.

 The absence of a fixed teaching plan, the lack of a collective pressure to perform, the avoidance of any artificial levelling process, such as lessons taught from the front (still widely practised), and the compete individualisation of the learning content allows each child to receive the optimum encouragement, regardless of their ability. This form of education has an ability like no other to allow highly talented children to be integrated just as much as those

with a disability. It is now proven that both will benefit.

 In a Montessori school, the teaching staff regard themselves as conscientious observers of a developmental process, providing the child with fundamentally sympathetic support in its development needs. The child therefore always has an interested and skilled supporter in its endeavours towards knowledge, progress and development. The teaching staff strive to ensure that they always provide suitable materials for the current interests of each individual child, so that these interests, combined with natural child-like curiosity, become the most

important drivers on the child’s own path to development and education (and not a disruptive factor).

 Detailed presentations are used to introduce the child to handling the individual materials, while the duration of the occupation with the material and the number of times the exercise is repeated is left to the child itself. The child will decide from time to time whether it will tackle a specific content alone, with one other person or as part of a whole group of interested individuals.

 A child’s own work is given the most value. "Help me to do it myself“, is our motto. In specific terms, this means that we do not take over anything that the child itself would not be a position to do, and we hope that by providing the appropriate explanations, we can persuade parents to take on a similar attitude.

 By dealing in a specific way with the various types of educational content, the child achieves a massive increase in its skills in all respects and takes pleasure in a growing independence from adults. This growth of autonomy within each individual child leads to self-esteem and self-confidence, which is irreplaceable in the lifelong process of learning.

d'Insle Montessori-School in Zurich