The goal of both Montessori and traditional pre-schools is the same: to provide learning experiences for the child.  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 a child learns, his work habits and his future attitudes toward himself and the world around him.




Emphasis on cognitive and social development.

Emphasis on social development.

Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom.

Teacher is centre 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 grouping.

Same age grouping.

Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other.

Most teaching done by teacher.

Child chooses own work.

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 a chosen project.

Child generally allotted specific time for work.

Child sets own learning pace.

Instruction pace usually set by group norm.

Child spots own errors from feedback of material.

If work is corrected, 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.

Fewer materials for sensory development.

Organised programme, 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, 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.

Organised programme for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process.

Voluntary parent involvement.







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