Parents often wonder how the Montessori method differs from traditional schools. Below, we provide a comparison for parents considering our school.

Montessori MethodTraditional Teaching
Emphasis is on cognitive, social and emotional developmentEmphasis is on cognitive development
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration Few materials for sensory development
Environment and method encourage self-discipline Teacher is primary enforcer of discipline
Mixed age grouping Same age grouping
Grouping encourages children to teach and help each otherMost teaching is done by the teacher
Working together is discouraged
Teacher has a facilitator role in classroom Teacher is focus of classroom
Mainly individual instruction Mainly group instruction
Child chooses own work, with input from teacher Set curriculum is structured for the child
Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will without disturbing the work of othersChild usually assigned own chair
Child discovers own concepts from self teaching materials Child is guided to concepts by the teacher
Child may work at own learning pace Instruction pace is usually set by group norm
Child works as long as he needs on a chosen projectChild is generally allotted specific time for work on a specific project or assignment
Projects usually chosen by the teacher
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work with internal feelings of success. Learning is its own reward Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards
Materials are self correcting Child spots own errors from feedback of material If work is corrected, errors usually are pointed out by the teacher
Organized program for learning care of self and environment in order to develop independence Less Emphasis on self-care instruction
Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process Voluntary parent involvement