Montessori vs. Traditional Learning

Emphasis on: cognitive and social development Emphasis on social development
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom Teacher is center of classroom as  "controller"
Environment and method encourage self-discipline Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instruction Group and individual instruction
Mixed age groupings Same age grouping
Grouping encourages teaching and helping each other Most teaching done by teacher
Child chooses own work within limits Curriculum structured for child
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child works as long as he wishes on chosen projects Child generally allotted specific time for work
Child sets own learning pace Instruction pace usually set by group norm
Child spots error by feedback of material Errors usually pointed out by teacher
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration Few materials for sensory exploration
Organized program for learning care of self and environment Less emphasis on self care instruction
Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will (yet not disturb work of others); group work is voluntary Child usually assigned own chair; encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group lessons
Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process Voluntary parent involvement