Montessori vs. Traditional


Montessori                                      Traditional

Teacher’s role in the classroom is passive and designed to guide individual learning when asked and when a child is ready; the child is the active participant Teacher’s role is dominant, assuming the active role in leading a class; the child is the passive participant in learning
Self-discipline is encouraged both through the method of teaching and the environment External discipline is enforced by teacher (and principal)
Instruction adapts to each individual’s learning style in both group and individual settings Instruction conforms to standardized curriculum with less room for flexibility
Mixed-age classrooms Same-age classrooms
Children are encouraged to collaborate, assist one another, and teach each other Children are primarily taught by teachers with less time for collaboration
Children select their own work dictated by individual interest and skill level Children are taught a prescribed curriculum for the whole classroom, regardless of interest or skill level
Children forumlate their own answers from self-teaching materials Children are guided to answers by teacher
Children set their own individual pace to absorb information presented to them Children typically follow a pace set by the group average or the teacher
Children work as long as they desire with a selected material Children are typically given a specific time limit to achieve their work
Children learn to discover their own errors through exploration with the materials Children’s work is corrected with mistakes identified by teacher
Learning is achieved internally at child’s individual pace, by their continued interest, and their personal feelings of success Learning is reinforced by others through memorization, repetition, and external rewards or discouragement
Complete array of multi-sensory materials for exploration Less emphasis on intentional sensory exploration
Nurturing environment encourages children to work where they are comfortable working individually or in groups Children are typically assigned a space and are encouraged to remain still and listen during group instruction
Emphasis on practical life skills to learn how to care for self and the environment and to develop attention span, fine motor skills, and work ethic Less emphasis on caring for self and environment; this instruction left to parents
**Click here to learn how the staff reports misconduct regarding ethical conduct.