Comparison Between Montessori & Traditional Education



1. No pre-determined curriculum; children choose the materials suitable to their developmental stage. Teachers work to a set curriculum.
2. Children work at own pace and aren't hurried to meet a schedule. Teachers set the pace to get through the work in a specified time-frame.
3. Children are free to explore and discover on their own. Teachers enforce a lesson plan that is followed every day.
4. Emphasis on the concrete. Emphasis on the abstract.
5. Reality orientated. Much role play and fantasy.
6. Children are given a sense of order and responsibility - everything has to be returned to its place. Materials don't necessarily need to go in the exact place from which they came. There is no real sense of order.
7. The learning environment is child-centred. The teacher is the centre of attention.
8. Children provide their own stimulation and motivation to learn. Teacher provides the stimulation and drives the learning process.
9. Montessori materials are designed to promote self-education and self-correction. Teachers use reward and punishment as a means to motivate education.
10. Montessori methods recognise children's sensitive developmental and learning periods. Children are subjected to a generic approach and treated alike.
11. Montessori designed multi-sensory materials develop specific skills. Play materials are for non-specific skills.
12. Children are free to around the classroom and pick materials at will. Children have to sit in designated places and aren't allowed to move without permission or choose their own materials.
13. Children may talk freely, provided they don't disturb the others. Children have to keep quiet unless called upon to answer questions or invited to ask questions.
14. Teachers are guides only, encouraging children to act and think for themselves. The teacher is the leader and children are expected to follow.
15. Disorderly conduct in the class is regarded as the teacher's fault. Teachers have to adjust their approach to address misbehaviour. Disorderly conduct is considered the child's fault and results in punishment.