Our Classroom
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Comparing Montessori with Traditional Education

Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is a positive sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, noncompetitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.

Montessori

Traditional

Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development.
Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development.
Teacher's role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning.
Teacher's role is dominant, active; child is a passive participant.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline.
Teacher is primary enforcer of external discipline.
Individual and group instruction adapts to each student's learning style.
Individual and group instruction conforms to the adult's teaching style.
Mixed age grouping.
Same age grouping.
Children encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.
Most teaching done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
Child chooses work from interests, abilities.
Curriculum structured with little regard for child's interests.
Child works as long as s/he wants on a chosen project.
Child usually given specific time for work.
Child sets own learning pace to internalize information.
Instruction pace set by group norm or teacher.
Child spots own errors through feedback from material.
Errors corrected by teacher.
Learning is reinforced internally through child's own repetition of activity, internal feelings of success.
Learning is reinforced externally by rewards, discouragement.
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration development.
Few materials for sensory, concrete manipulation.
Organized program for learning care and self-care of environment (shoe polishing, sink washing, etc).
Little emphasis on instruction or on classroom maintenance.