default-page The Montessori Difference

The Montessori Difference

The Montessori Difference

In almost every aspect, a Montessori education offers a fundamentally different experience compared to typical private education approaches.  There are clear advantages to the Montessori method at every stage of the student’s development. A Montessori education can provide the foundation for a lifetime of openness to experience and knowledge. Explore some of the very important differences between a Montessori education and more traditional private Pre-K, elementary, and middle school educations.

Montessori Education Traditional Private School Education
Views the child holistically, valuing cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual development Views the child in terms of competence, skill level, and achievement with an emphasis on core curricula standards and social 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 Child is more a more passive participant in learning; teacher has more dominant, central role in classroom activity
 A carefully prepared learning environment and method encourages development of internal self-discipline and intrinsic motivation Teacher acts as a primary enforcer of external discipline promoting extrinsic motivation
 Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to students’ learning styles and development levels Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to core curricula benchmarks
 Three-year span of age grouping, three-year cycles allow teacher, students, and parents to develop supportive, collaborative, and trusting relationships Same-age and/or skill level grouping; one-year cycles can limit development of strong teacher, student, and parent collaboration
 Grace, courtesy, and conflict resolution are integral parts of daily Montessori peace curriculum Conflict resolution is usually taught separately from daily classroom activity
 Values concentration and depth of experience; supplies uninterrupted time for focused work cycle to develop Values completion of assignments; time is tightly scheduled
 Child’s learning pace is internally determined Instructional pace usually set by core-curricula standard expectations, group norm, or teacher
Child allowed to spot own errors through feedback from the materials; errors are viewed as part of the learning process Work is usually corrected by the teacher; errors are viewed as mistakes
 Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by test scores and rewards, completion, and grades
 Care of self and environment are emphasized as integral to the learning experience Less emphasis on self-care, spatial awareness, and care of environment
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  Child is usually assigned to a specific work space; talking among peers is discouraged
 Multi-disciplinary, interwoven curriculum Curriculum areas usually taught as separate topics
 Progress is reported through multiple formats: conferences, narrative reports, checklists, and portfolio of a student’s work Progress is usually reported through conferences, report cards/grades, and test scores
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other Most teaching is done by the teacher and collaboration is an alternative teaching strategy
Child is provided opportunities to choose own work from interest and abilities; concepts taught within context of interest Curricula organized and structured for child based on core curricula standards
Goal is to foster a love of learning Goal is to master curricula objectives