This is a simplified version of our twist on a traditional diagram of the interaction between the adult, the child, and the prepared environment in the Montessori classroom. We added the use of geometric forms to represent each point of the triangle because they help illustrate important principles we teach about each role and element. Click on the different sections for an explanation of why we use the terms “mentor” and “learner” instead of “adult” and “child”.

Whether you are seeking a complete program for Montessori training or simply some exercises to provide more effective phonics instruction, it will be very useful to understand the interaction of the learner, the prepared learning environment, and the mentor. This overview is essential to a respectful, effective approach to education. It is especially important if you seek a way to empower learners to take more and more responsibility for their own learning. Obviously, articles and resources will have overlap in which of these three elements they cover. We’ll slot them into the one that’s the best fit. This is also an effective visual to help you set priorities in what is almost always an educator’s busy schedule. (We use educator as well, but avoid teacher and the adult-centered approach most often associated with it.)