Montessori vs. Traditional Education

Montessori Education Traditional Education
Emphasis on cognitive structures and social development. Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline. Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.
Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student's learning style. Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult's teaching style.
Mixed age grouping. Same-age grouping.
Teacher has unobstrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning. Teacher has dominant, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning.
Children are encouraged to each, collaborate, and help each other. Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.
Child sets own learning pace to internalize information. Instruction pace usually set by group "norm" or teacher.
Child spots own errors through feedback from learning materials. If work is corrected, errors usually are pointed out by the teacher.
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration. Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation.

Source: American Montessori Society

 student working 3     student working 4