Montessori Vs. Traditional Education



  • Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development
  • Teacher has dominant, active role in classroom; child is a passive participant in learning
  • Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external self-discipline
  • Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult’s teaching style
  • Same age grouping
  • Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration Is discouraged
  • Curriculum structured for child with little regard to child’s interests
  • Child is guided to concepts by teacher
  • Child generally given specific time limit for work
  • If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher
  • Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards/discouragements


  • Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development
  • Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning
  • Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline
  • Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student’s learning style
  • Mixed age grouping
  • Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other
  • Child chooses own work from interest and abilities
  • Child formulates own concepts from self-teaching materials
  • Child works as long as he/she wishes on chosen project
  • Child spots own errors through feedback from the material
  • Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success