The Main Difference between Montessori and Traditional Schools

The Main Difference between Montessori and Traditional Schools

A Montessori education allows a child to experience the excitement of learning through their own choice, rather than by a prescribed district educational plan, and by helping the child to perfect all of their natural tools for learning to help maximize his or her success in future learning situations.

We begin with a deep respect for children as unique individuals, with a focus on their social and emotional development.  

Montessori classrooms are bright and exciting environments for learning with many materials. 

 “The hand is the instrument of intelligence. The child needs to manipulate objects and to gain experience by touching and handling. ” — Dr. Maria Montessori.

In a Montessori classroom, children are brought together in multi-age groups instead of single grade level classes that you would see in a traditional environment.  

The Primary room is for 3-6 year old children; Lower Elementary includes 6-9 year old students; and Upper Elementary is designed for 9-12 year olds). Children at all levels stay with their teacher for 3 years, allowing the development of a close, long-term relationship.  

Teachers know their students and are able to provide individualized lessons based solely on each child’s developmental stage. Individualized lessons in the Montessori classroom, help to grow the child’s confidence, as they learn at their own pace.

Even the youngest students are taught to manage their community – seek solutions to class problems. “Children acquire knowledge through experience in the environment.” — Dr. Maria Montessori.

We assume children are born intelligent – they simply learn in different ways and progress at their own pace.  We recognize and address different learning styles as the very foundation of a student’s educational experience.

“Education must begin at birth.” — Dr. Maria Montessori.

We consciously limit our use of textbooks and workbooks – many skills and concepts are abstract and texts simply don’t bring them to life.  Montessori relies upon hands-on concrete learning materials for all subject matter - Math, Language, Reading, Geography, Science, and Religion.  

In a traditional classroom, learning is focused on rote drill and memorization of facts. Montessori teachers, however, help students develop a deeper understanding of their work through the use of specially created and beautiful instructional materials that provide sensorial opportunities for learning and practice.  

Students learn not to be afraid of making mistakes, for mistakes are just a natural step in the learning process. 

“At some given moment it happens that the child becomes deeply interested in a piece of work; we see it in the expression on his face, his intense concentration, the devotion to the exercise.” — The Discovery of the Child.