Montessori Education vs. Traditional Education

Montessori Traditional
The child is an active participant in learning. The child is a passive participant in learning.
Promotes the natural development of the human being. Working and learning are matched to the social development of the child. Promotes the transfer of a national curriculum. Working and learning take place without reference to the social development of the child.
Children learn at their own pace and follow their own individual interests. A child works as long as they wish on a chosen project. Children learn from a set curriculum according to a time frame that is the same for everyone. A child is generally given specific time limits for work.
Children teach themselves using materials specially prepared for the purpose. The teacher works in collaboration with the children. Children are taught by the teacher. The class is teacher-led.
Understanding comes through the child’s own experiences via the materials and the promotion of children’s ability to find things out for themselves. Learning is based on subjects and is limited to information that is given by the teacher.
Children can work where they are comfortable, move around and talk at will while not disturbing others. Children are usually assigned their own chair and encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.
The child’s individual development brings its own reward and therefore motivation. Motivation is achieved by a system of rewards and punishments.
The environment and the method encourage internal self-discipline. The teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.
Mixed age groups allow children to develop at their own pace. Same age groups leave some children far ahead, and others far behind.
There is shared emphasis on intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development. Also shared focus on the acquisition of academic, social, practical and life skills. The main emphasis is on intellectual development, and academics.

 

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