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.