What's The Difference?

Montessori and traditional schooling share the goal of helping the child learn; however, they strive to achieve this goal in very different ways. The kind of learning experiences each school provides and the methods they use are quite different. Montessori educators believe these differences are important because they help shape what a child learns, their work habits, and their attitudes toward themself and the world around them.

Montessori Method vs Traditional Method

Emphasis on Cognitive and Social Development
Emphasis on Rote Learning and Social Behavior
Teacher has guiding role
Teacher controls classroom
Environment and method encourage self discipline
Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instruction
Mainly group instruction
Mixed age groups
Same age groups
Grouping encourages children to teach and collaborate
Teaching is done by teacher; collaboration is discouraged
Child chooses own work
Teacher assigns work for child
Child discovers concepts from self-teaching materials
Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child is allocated time to work on and complete lesson
Child generally allotted specific time for work
Child sets own learning pace
Instruction pace set by group
Child spots own errors from feedback of material
Errors in child’s work highlighted by teacher
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success
Learning is reinforced externally by repetition, rewards, and punishment
Child can work where they choose, move about and talk at will (yet not disturb work of others). Group work usually voluntary
Child usually assigned seat; required to participate during group lessons
The program for learning care of self and environment is organized around multi-sensory materials
No organized program for self-care instruction - left primarily up to parents