COMPARISON TO TRADITIONAL EDUCATION

A Montessori program is based on self-direction, non-competitive and cooperative activities that help a child develop a strong self-image, high levels of academic and social competence, and the confidence to face challenges with optimism. Encouraged to make decisions from an early age, Montessori educated children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices, manage their time, and work well with others. They exchange ideas and discuss work freely. These positive communication skills build the foundation for negotiating new settings.

 

Montessori

Views the child holistically, valuing cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual development

 
Child is an active participant in learning; allowed to move about and respectfully explore the classroom environment; teacher is an instructional facilitator and guide

A carefully prepared learning environment and method encourages development of internal self- discipline and intrinsic motivation

Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to students’ learning styles and developmental levels

Three-year span of age grouping, three-year cycles allow teacher, students, and parents to develop supportive, collaborative and trusting relationships

Grace, courtesy, and conflict resolution are integral parts of daily Montessori peace curriculum

Values concentration and depth of experience; supplies uninterrupted time for focused work cycle to develop

Child’s learning pace is internally determined


Child allowed to spot own errors through feedback from the materials; errors are viewed as part of the learning process

Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success

Care of self and environment are emphasized as integral to the learning experience

Child can work where he/she is comfortable and the child often has choices between working alone or with a group that is highly collaborative among older students

Multi-disciplinary, interwoven curriculum

Child learns to share leadership; egalitarian interaction is encouraged

Progress is reported through multiple formats: conferences, narrative reports, checklists and portfolio of student’s work

Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other

Child is provided opportunities to choose own work from interest and abilities, concepts taught within context of interest

Goal is to foster a love of learning

Traditional

Views the child in terms of competence, skill level, and achievement with an emphasis on core curricula standards and social development

Child is a more passive participant in learning; teacher has a more dominant central role in classroom activity


Teacher acts a primary enforcer of external discipline promoting extrinsic motivation


Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to core curricula benchmarks

Same-age and/or skill level grouping; one-year cycles can limit development of strong teacher, student, and parent collaboration


Conflict resolution is usually taught separately from daily classroom activity

Values completion of assignments; time is tightly scheduled


Instructional pace usually set by core-curricula standard expectations, group norm, or teacher

Work is usually corrected by the teacher; errors are viewed as mistakes


Learning is reinforced externally by test scores and rewards, competition and grades


Less emphasis on self-care, spatial awareness, and care of the environment

Child is usually assigned a specific work space; talking among peers discouraged



Curriculum areas usually taught as separate topics

Hierarchical classroom structure is more prominent


Progress is usually reported through conferences, report cards/grades, and test scores


Most teaching is done by the teacher and collaboration is an alternative teaching strategy

Curricula organized and structured for child based on core curricula standards


Goal is to master core curricula objectives