Montessori vs. Traditional Teaching Styles

Here is a simple comparison chart to illustrate differences between a traditional/regular school and the Montessori way of teaching children.

A Traditional School iQ Montessori
Children are all the same age in the class Children are within the same three-year age group in the class
Children are motivated by the teacher Children are motivated by self-development
Children’s errors are corrected by the teacher Children have self-correcting materials
Teacher lectures Children have hand’s on learning by manipulating objects
Group learning Individual learning
Teacher is the focal point and dominant figure Directress is an observer
Activity cycles are determined by a set time Children choose activity cycle time
Teacher assigns specific topics for the day Children have freedom to pursue their own interests
Materials have little to no instructions Materials are used in sequence with presentations
Children work only to complete the task Children work for joy and sense of discovery
Teacher provides discipline Environment provides discipline
Children seek help from the teacher Children are encouraged to help each other
Teacher sets curriculum Children choose materials
Teacher sets the pace Children set their own pace
Emphasis on abstract Emphasis on concrete
Significant role playing and fantasy Reality-oriented
All children are treated very similarly Ample recognition of individual sensitive periods
Play materials are non-skill specific Play materials are multisensory-based to cultivate specific skills
Community needs take precedence Respect of the child foremost