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Comparison with Traditional Education

Some Comparisons of Montessori Education with Traditional Education
A Montessori program is based on self-direction, non-competitive activities that help a child develop a strong
self-image, high levels of academic and social competence, and the confidence to face challenges with optimism.  Encouraged to
make decisions from an early age, Montessori educated children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices, manage
their time, and work well with others.  They exchange ideas and discuss work freely.  These positive communication skills build
the foundation for negotiating new settings.
 Views the child historically, valuing cognitive, psychological, social, and spiritual development Views the child in terms of competence, skill level, and achievement with an emphasis on core curricula standards and social development
 Child is an active participant in learning; allowed to move about and respectfully explore the classroom environment; teacher is an instructional facilitator and guide     Child is a more passive participant in learning; teacher has a more dominant, central role in classroom activity
 A carefully prepared learning environment and method encourages development of internal self-discipline and intrinsic motivation Teacher acts as a primary enforcer of external discipline promoting extrinsic motivation
 Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to students' learning styles and development levels Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to core curricula benchmarks
 Three-year span of age grouping, three-year cycles allow teacher students and parents to develop supportive, collaborative and trusting relationships Same-age and/or skill level grouping; one-year cycles can limit development of strong teacher, student, and parent collaboration
 Grace, courtesy and conflict resolution are integral parts of daily Montessori peace curriculum Conflict resolution is usually taught separately from daily classroom activity
 Values concentration and depth of experience; supplies uninterrupted time for focused work cycle to develop Values completion of assignments; time is tightly scheduled
 Child's learning pace is internally determined Instructional pace usually set by core-curricula standard exceptions, group norm, or teacher
 Child allowed to spot own errors through feedback from materials; errors are viewed as part of the learning process Work is usually corrected by the teacher; errors are viewed as mistakes
 Learning is reinforced internally through the child's own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by test scores and rewards, competition and grades
 Care of self and environment are emphasized as integral to the learning experience Less emphasis on self-care, spatial awareness, and care of the environment
 Child can work where he/she is comfortable and the child often has choices between working alone or with a group that is highly collaborative among older students Child is usually assigned a specific work space; talking among peers discouraged
 Multi-disciplinary, interwoven curriculum Curriculum taught as separate topics areas usually
 Child learns to share leadership Hierarchical classroom structure is more prominent
 Progress is reported through multiple formats: conferences, narrative reports, checklists and portfolio of student's work Progress is usually reported through conferences, report cards/grades, and test scores
 Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other Most teaching is done by the teacher and collaboration is an alternative teaching strategy
 Child is provided opportunities to choose own work from interest and abilities, concepts taught within context of interest Curricula organized and structured for child based on core curricula standards
 Goal is to foster a love of learning Goal is to master core curricula objectives