Pascal, the French philosopher, physicist, and mathematician said that man’s mind was mathematical by nature, and that knowledge and progress came from accurate observation.
It is through the work of the senses that the child begins to develop his mathematical mind. Without the child’s senses being educated he/she is at a disadvantage when categorizing the stimuli that he/she encounters; therefore, the child is not able to place in his mind the order of the world around him/her. Order is the fundamental basis of the development of the mathematical mind. If the child is presented with an ordered sequence of activities, the child builds his mathematical mind on the orderly perception of classified and graded sensory experiences. Through experience, the mind is able to assimilate the exterior order internally so that the mathematical part of the mind is a collection of facts and realities and experiences which are classified, graded, etc. for the child’s future use. The mathematical mind is a product of order, precision, and the absorbent mind!
Montessori thought of math as one of the fundamental kinds of activities essential for children’s development. Most adults find math difficult because they may have been introduced to it at an abstract level at an older age without clarifying concrete experiences. The children love order and they seek order. Order is the foundation of the mathematical mind. To go along with this sensitivity to order the child is equipped with the absorbent mind. With these two powers coupled with the prepared Montessori mathematical equipment the child can construct him/herself for further discovery as he/she moves into the elementary years.