Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman

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“The child is both the hope and a promise for mankind.”

-Maria Montessori

Child working

Comparison: Montessori vs Traditional Education

Montessori Education Traditional Education
Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development
Teacher has classroom role in classroom activity;
child is an active participant in learning.
Teacher has dominant, active role in classroom activity;
child is a passive participant in learning.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline. Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.
Instruction, both individual and group,
adapts to each student’s learning style.
Instruction, both individual and group,
conforms to the adult’s teaching style.
Mixed age grouping Same age grouping
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other. Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
Child chooses own work from interests and abilities. Curriculum structured for child with little regard for child’s interests.
Child formulates own concepts from self-teaching materials. Child is guided to concepts by teacher.
Child works as long as he/she wishes on chosen projects. Child generally given specific time limit for work.
Child sets own learning pace to internalize information. Instruction pace is usually set by group norm or teacher.
Child spots own errors through feedback from material. If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher.
Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s
own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success.
Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards/discouragement.
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation
Organized program for learning care of self and the environment
(polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc.)
Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom maintenance.