Montessori vs. Traditional Education
When parents of a potential student tour Bryant, they often speak of the "magical" feel in the classroom. They are amazed at how focused the energy is in the room, with children engaged in their work. Sometimes a child is working alone, and other times there are groups of two or three children working together. This intangible "calm activity" is a sign of a typical Montessori classroom.
Below are some differences you can expect to find when comparing a Montessori classroom to a Traditional classroom.
Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development.
Teacher's role is unobtrusive; child actively participates in learning.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline.
Individual and group instruction adapts to each student's learning style.
Mixed age grouping.
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.
Child chooses his/her own work from interests and abilities.
Child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials.
Child works as long as he/she wants on chosen projects.
Child sets his/her own learning pace to internalize information.
Child spots his/her own errors through feedback from material.
Learning is reinforced internally through the child's own repetition of an activity which results in a repetition of the feeling of success.
Materials are multi-sensory to encourage physical exploration and development.
Organized program for learning care of self and care of the environment (shoe polishing, sink washing, etc.)
Child can work where he/she is comfortable, moving and talking at will (yet typically not in a manner that disturbs others).
Group work is voluntary and negotiable.
Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process.
Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development.
Teacher's role is dominant, active; child is a passive participant.
Teacher is the primary enforcer of external discipline.
Individual and group instruction conforms to the adult's teaching style.
Same age grouping.
Most teaching done by the teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
Curriculum is structured with little regard for child's interests.
Child is guided to concepts by teacher.
Child is usually given a specific amount of time for specific work.Instruction pace is set by the group norm or by the teacher.
Errors are corrected by the teacher.
Learning is reinforced externally by rewards and discouragements.
Few materials for sensory or concrete manipulation.
Little emphasis on instruction or classroom maintenance.
Child is assigned a seat and encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.
Voluntary parent involvement, often only at fundraisers.
They are not participants in understanding the learning process.