The basic idea in the Montessori philosophy is that children carry within themselves the person that they will become. Dr. Maria Montessori developed what she called a "prepared environment" which already possesses a certain order. This environment alows children to learn at their own speed, according to their own capacities, and in a non-competative atmosphere. Montessori teaches children to observe, to think, and to judge. It introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand in hand.