What is Montessori?

Montessori Method Conventional Approach
Teacher is a guide who introduces materials to each child and observes patiently and perceptively their individual needs and development. The teacher prepares the environment with the child’s interest in mind. Teacher leads single-lesson assignments with specific time allotted to each area of study.
Active Individualized Learning is encouraged through stimulating, multi-sensory teaching materials. Class Learning is the goal through teacher-centered class lessons, auditory and paper based work.
Multi-age Class is a “natural” social environment that includes a wide range of ages, fostering self-motivation. Students enjoy working for their own sense of accomplishment. The older children feel a sense of pride when they help younger children. Chronological Grouping necessitates external rewards, such as grades, competition and social conformity.
Freedom of Choice, with limits, involves decision making. Students select their work according to individual interests and abilities. Class Curriculum is taught to all children at the same time.
Working at One’s Own Pace enables students to work for long periods without interruption. Each individual works at their potential, independent of the others in the class. Large-Group Learning involves each academic subject being scheduled for a limited period.
Integral Education balances academic work with freedom of movement. Harmony is created between physical, social and mental activities, with an interrelationship between subjects. Traditional Education presents academic subjects in isolation.
Independence is fostered by a classroom specifically designed to encourage maximum development. Dependency is the norm, with subjects taught by the teacher in front of the class.
Self-Evaluation occurs as students learn to evaluate their work objectively through the use of self-correcting teaching materials and individual work with the teacher. Class Assessment is the standard with work evaluated and graded by the teacher.
Reality-Oriented Education uses concrete materials as the basis for learning future abstract lessons. Abstract Education requires students to learn through rote memorization with limited hands-on materials.
Close Student-Teacher Interaction enables complete and precise evaluation of student’s progress, both academically and psychologically. Class-Oriented Teaching provides limited time to interact individually with each student.