It is interesting that when someone hears about Montessori Methods of teaching, they, many times, come to a wrong conclusion. Even some of my family took it as free-for-all environment where the children control the classroom. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. So I thought I would highlight the differences. I think it is important to understand that some of the most famous people in history we Montessori students: Anne Frank, Larry Page (Google), Sergey Brin (Google), Princes William and Harry, and many more. Jeff Bezos himself was a student and has 12+ Montessori schools of his own. Anyway, here you go…
Montessori and traditional education have several key differences:
- Learning Approach: Montessori schools follow a more child-centered approach, allowing students to move about and choose their own activities and learn at their own pace, based on their interests. Traditional education is often teacher-directed, with a set curriculum for all students.
- Grouping: Montessori schools don’t have grade levels. Students often work with others who are 2-3 years younger or older than themselves. Traditional schools group students strictly by age.
- Curriculum: Montessori schools support a unique curriculum for each individual student, whereas traditional education typically follows a one-size-fits-all progression.
- Instructional Format: Montessori students structure their own day, progressing through activities at their own pace and time. In contrast, traditional school settings follow a very rigid schedule, with scheduled opportunities for discussion and breaks.
- Role of Teachers: In Montessori schools, teachers act as guides and consultants to students on a one-on-one basis. They assist each child along his or her own learning path. In traditional schools, the pace and order of each lesson are predetermined by the teacher.
- Active vs Passive Learning: Montessori lessons are hands-on and active. Students discover information for themselves. Traditional school lessons are often orated to students who listen passively, memorize, and take tests.
These are just some of the differences between Montessori and traditional education. Both have their own strengths and cater to different learning styles.