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Montessori Method vs. Traditional Approach

Montessori Method

Traditional Approach
  • 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 enforces discipline
  • Mainly individual instruction
  • Group and individual instruction
  • Mixed age grouping
  • Same age grouping
  • Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other
  • Most teaching done by teacher
  • Child chooses own work
  • Activities structured for child
  • Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project
  • Child generally allotted specific time for work
  • Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials
  • Child is guided to concepts by teacher
  • Child sets own learning pace
  • Instruction pace usually set by group
  • Child spots own errors from feedback on material
  • If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher
  • Child reinforces learning by repetition and feelings of success
  • Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards
  • Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc.)
  • Less emphasis on self-care instruction
  • Child can work where he chooses (yet not disturb work of others); group work is also encouraged
  • Child usually assigned own chair; encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group sessions