Why Montessori?


Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they’ve been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices and manage their time well. They have been encouraged to exchange ideas and discuss their work freely with others. Their good communication skills ease the way in new settings. Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is a positive sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges with optimism.

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