The goal of both Montessori and traditional preschool programs is the same: to provide learning experiences for children. The biggest differences lie in the kind of learning experiences each school provides and the methods they use to accomplish this goal. Montessori educators believe these differences are important because they help shape how children learn, their work habits and future attitudes toward themselves, others and the world around them.
|Traditional Education||Montessori Education|
|Children are grouped chronologically, one age per class.||Non-graded (two or three year age span).|
|There is a pervasive emphasis on grades, merits, and social conformity.||Self-humanization is the root motivation.|
|The class is seated at desks for most of the time for group lessons.||Students work at tables, or on floor:freedom of movement. The children are in direct contact with environment - i.e. natural, sensory, and cultural experiences.|
|Relatively frequent interruptions: bells, adult interventions.||Relatively few interruptions. Long blocks of time permit invaluable concentration.|
|The class, as a group, studies one subject at a time with class schedules that limit the child's involvement.||Children pursue their own self-paced curriculum, individually or in small groups, in various parts of the learning environment.|
|Postponement of cognitive development until first grade.||Critical cognitive skills developed before age six.|
|Teachers and society correct pupil's errors.||Children learn from their peers and self-correcting materials. The teacher's role is a guide.|
When the student becomes the teacher.