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Montessori vs. Traditional Education





  • The adult has an unobtrusive role in the classroom, guiding children through activities.

  • The teacher is at the center of the classroom and acts as a controller.



  • Self-discipline is encouraged through the method and the environment.

  • Discipline is external, with the teacher as the primary enforcer.

  • Children reinforce their own learning through repetition of work and internal feelings of success.

  • Learning is reinforced externally through praise and rewards.

  • Children are free to choose their own work.

  • The teacher chooses the work for the whole class.

  • Children learn through interacting with the environment and working with each other.

  • The teacher does most of the instructing.

  • Children are given the freedom to move and explore.

  • Children are encouraged to sit still in their own seats.

  • The environment is calm, orderly, and peaceful.

  • The classroom may be messy, chaotic, and noisy.

  • The adult guides the children in child-led exploration, allowing them to follow their own interests at their own pace.

  • The teacher plans a few group activities for the whole class.

  • Teachers have received rigorous Montessori training and are experts in guiding each child along his or her natural path of development.

  • Montessori classrooms follow a scientifically proven method of education.

  • Many traditional preschools and day cares have a revolving door of untrained childcare providers.


  • Many day cares and preschools have all day, unstructured play time.

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