Montessori vs Traditional

Montessori vs Traditional

Montessori children are extremely adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they have been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, Montessori children are problem-solvers who have learned to make appropriate choices and manage their time well. They have been encouraged to exchange ideas and discuss their work freely with others. Their good communication skills ease the way in new settings.Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is a positive sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.

Comparison of a Montessori and Traditional Education


Individual and group instruction adapts to each student’s learning style

Teacher’s role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning

Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development

Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline

Mixed age grouping

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

Child chooses own work from interests and abilities

Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials

Child works as long as he/she wants on chosen project

Child sets own learning pace to internalize information

Child spots own errors through feedback from material

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

Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration development

Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning sink, etc.)

Child can work where he/she is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet disturbs not the work of others); group work is voluntary and negotiable

Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process


Individual and group instruction conforms to the adult’s teaching style

Teacher’s role is dominant, active; child is a passive participant in learning

Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development

Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline

Same age grouping

Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged

Curriculum structured for child with little regard for child’s interest

Child is guided to concepts by teacher

Child generally has given specific time limit for work Instruction pace usually set by group norm or teacher

Errors corrected by teacher

Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards / discouragements

Few materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation

Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom maintenance

Child assigned seat; encouraged to sit still and listen to teacher instructions

Voluntary parent involvement, often only as