Dr. Montessori recognized that self-motivation is the only valid impulse to learning. Children move themselves toward learning. The teacher prepares the environment, offers activities, functions as guide. She observes the child constantly in order to help the process of “learning how to learn.” But it is the child who learns, motivated through the work itself, to persist in a chosen task.
The Montessori child is free to learn because of having slowly acquired an inner discipline from exposure to both physical and mental order. This is the core of the philosophy. Habits of concentration, perseverance and thoroughness established in the early years will produce a confident and competent learner in later years.