Montessori vs Traditional







Vertical age grouping

Motivated by self-development


Self-correcting materials

Children learn by handling equipment

Individual learning

Teacher observes and directs

Child completes cycle of activity

Few interruptions

Freedom to move and work within classroom

Quiet by choice and out of regard for others

Environment provides discipline

Encouraged to help one another

Child sets pace of learning

Interest drives learning

Reality Oriented

Multi-sensory materials to develop specific skills

Self-correcting materials and Self-motivated Learning

Constructivist model of education

Three year mixed age span

Emphasis on cognitive learning


Horizontal age grouping

Teacher motivated


Teacher corrects

Teacher lectures

Group learning

Teacher is focal point

Activity cycles determined by set times

Many interruptions

Confined to seats and specific classes

Quiet enforced

Discipline enforced by teacher

Seek help from the teacher

Teacher sets pace

Curriculum drives learning

Role play and fantasy oriented

Play materials for nonspecific skills

Work corrected by teacher, use of
reward & punishment to motivate

Factory and Lockean model of education

All one age

Post-ponement of 3Rs, emphasis on social development