Montessori / Traditional

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher…is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.” – Maria Montessori

Montessori vs Traditional Education


A Montessori School

Emphasis: academic, emotional and social development

Child is the center of the classroom

Environment and method encourage self discipline

Mainly Individual Instruction

Mixed Age Grouping

Mixed age grouping encourages children to teach and help each other

Child chooses own work

Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project

Child sets own learning pace

Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success

Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration

Organized program for learning care of self and environment (tying shoes, washing dishes)


A Traditional School

Emphasis: social development

Teacher is the center of the classroom

Teacher disciplines

Mainly Group Instruction

Same Age Grouping

Most teaching lead by teacher

Curriculum structured for child

Child generally allotted specific time for work

Instruction pace usually set by group norm

Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards

Fewer materials for sensory development

Less emphasis on self-care instruction