The goal of both Montessori and traditional schools is the same: to provide learning experiences for the child. The biggest differences lie in the kind of learning experiences each school provides and methods they use to accomplish this goal.
Montessori educators believe these differences are important because they help shape how a child learns, his work habits, and his future attitudes towards himself and the world around him.
|Montessori Method||Traditional Method|
|Teacher has unobtrusive role in the classroom||Teacher plays the role of “controller” in the classroom|
|Mainly individual instruction||Group and individual instruction|
|Mixed age grouping||Little age spread within class|
|Grouping encourages children to teach and to help each other||Most teaching is done by the teacher|
|Child chooses his own work||Curriculum is structured for the child|
|Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials||Child is guided to concepts by teacher|
|Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project||Child is generally allotted specific time for work|
|Child sets own learning pace||Instruction pace is usually set by group norm|
|Child spots own errors from comments of their material||If work is corrected, errors are usually pointed out by the teacher|
|Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success||Learning is reinforced externally by rewards|
|Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration||Fewer materials are used for sensory development|
|Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc)||Less emphasis on self-care instruction|
|Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will, yet not disturb the work of others. Group work is voluntary||Child is usually assigned his own chair. He is encouraged to participate and listen during group lessons, but must essentially sit still|