Q. What is the difference between Montessori and traditional education? A. Montessori emphasizes learning through all five senses, not just through listening, watching, and reading. Children in Montessori classes learn at their own individual pace and according to their own choice of activities from hundreds of possibilities. Learning is an exciting process of discovery, leading to concentration, motivation, self-discipline, and a love of learning. Montessori classes place children in three-year age groups (3-6, 6-9, 9-12, and so on), forming communities in which the older children spontaneously share their knowledge with the younger ones. Montessori represents an entirely unique approach to education.
|Montessori Education||Traditional Education|
|Three-year age span||All one age|
|Motivated by self-development||Teacher motivated|
|Self-correcting materials||Teacher corrects errors|
|Hands on learning manipulating objects||Teacher lectures|
|Individual learning||Group learning|
|Teacher is observer & directress||Teacher is focal point & dominant influence|
|Cycles of activity completed within child’s time||Activity cycles determined by set time|
|Few interruptions||Frequent interruptions|
|Freedom to move & work||Assigned specific class periods|
|Materials used in sequence with presentations||Materials used with no prior instructions|
|Work for joy and sense of discovery||Work to complete tasks|
|Environment provides discipline||Teacher provides discipline|
|Encouraged to help each other||Encouraged to seek help from teacher|
|Child chooses materials||Teacher sets curriculum|
|Child sets own pace||Teacher sets pace|
|Emphasis on concrete ideas||Emphasis on abstract ideas|
|Reality-oriented||A lot of role-playing and fantasy|
|Recognition of individual sensitive periods||All children treated alike|
|Child is free to discover alone||Teacher continuously guides child|
|Carefully organized environment||Materials placed at random|
|Multi-sensory materials to develop specific skills||Play materials for non-specific skills|
|Self-education through self-correcting materials||Use of reward and punishment as motivation|
|Respect of child foremost||Community needs take precedence|
Q. Are Montessori children successful later in life?
A. Research studies show that Montessori children are well prepared for later life academically, socially, and emotionally. In addition to scoring well on standardized tests, Montessori children are ranked above average on such criteria as following directions, turning in work on time, listening attentively, using basic skills, showing responsibility, asking provocative questions, showing enthusiasm for learning, and adapting to new situations
Q. What ages does Montessori serve?
A. There are more Montessori programs for 3 – 6 years children than for any other age group, but Montessori is not limited to early childhood. Many infant/toddler programs (ages 2 months to 3 years) exist, as well as elementary (ages 6-12), adolescent (ages 12-15) and even a few Montessori high schools.