What are some differences between Montessori and traditional schools?
The goal of both Montessori and traditional 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 methods they use to accomplish this goal.
Emphasis on cognitive development
Teacher/student ratio about 1:12
Teacher has unobtrusive role in the classroom
Mainly individual instruction
Mixed age groups, grouping encourages children to teach and help each other
Child chooses own work
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials
Child works as long s he/she wishes on chosen project
Child sets own learning pace
Child spots own errors from feedback of material
Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration
Organized program for learning care of self and environment
Child can work where he/she chooses, move around and talk at will (yet not disturb work of other); group work is voluntary but children are encouraged to participate.
Emphasis on social development
Teacher/Student ratio about 1:25
Teacher is center of class as “controller” and acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly group instruction
Same age group and most teaching is done by the teacher
Curriculum is determined by teacher/school district
Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child generally allotted specific time for work
Instruction pace usually set by group norm
If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by the teacher
Learning is reinforced externally by repetition, reward or punishment
Few materials for sensory development
No organized program for self-care instruction- left primarily up to parents
Child usually assigned own chair; required to participate, sit still and listen during group instructions.