Montessori v Traditional Learning
Similarities & Differences between a Montessori School and Traditional School:



Emphasis on cognitive and social development. Emphasis on social development.
Teacher’s role is unobtrusive in the classroom and forms part of the environment. Teacher is centre of the classroom as leader.
The Montessori environment and method encourages self discipline. Teacher is primary enforcer of discipline.
Montessori conceptual teaching is mainly one to one. Class or group instruction.
Vertical grouping – mixed age group, consequently this minimises unhealthy competition. Same age grouping, promotes competition.
Montessori vertical grouping encourages the children to teach and help each other. Teaching is done by the teacher. Very little peer to peer mentoring.
Montessori child chooses own work. School curriculum is structured for the child/class.
Child discovers own concepts from self teaching didactic materials. Guided to concepts by the teacher.
Montessori child sets own learning pace. Pace is usually set by group norm.
Child spots own errors from self correcting materials. School work corrected and errors usually pointed out by the teacher.
Montessori child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feeling of achievement. School learning is reinforced by repetition and rewards.
A Montessori class environment offers multi sensory materials for physical exploration. Offer fewer materials for sensory exploration.
Montessori classes provide and organized programme for learning care of self, others and the environment. Place less emphasis on self care instruction.
Children can work where they choose, move around and talk freely, (without disturbing others) group work is voluntary. Children are assigned their own chair encouraged to participate and sit still and listen during group sessions.
Montessori Schools provides and organize programmes for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process. Parent involvement is voluntary and often limited.