Montessori Education is driven by an ambitious aim: To aid the child’s development into a complete adult human being, comfortable with himself, society and with humanity as a whole. While traditional approach to education, remains focused on the transmission of prescribed blocks of knowledge, the Montessori approach is focused on giving support to the natural development of the human being.

Montessori education begins with the understanding that the role of the adult is to help the unfolding of the child’s inborn developmental powers. The child, from the earliest moments of life, is possessed with great constructive energies that guide the formation of his mind and the coordination of his body.

The Montessori approach was developed without preconceived ideas as to how best to aid the child in his journey to adulthood. Instead the ideas were based on the observation of children in diverse cultures and in many Countries countries.

Montessori vs. Traditional

Montessori philosophy differs from traditional school in three primary ways.

Multi-aged classrooms:  Children are grouped in multi-age groups spanning two to three years.  Multi-age classrooms serve to:  encourage cooperation, minimize competition, provide opportunities for indirect learning for younger students as they observe older peers, foster self-confidence in students who serve as role models, and provide long-term child/adult relationships. Educational materials are concrete to aid the child to learn order, to discriminate physical dimensions, provide opportunities to teach responsibility, coordination, and interdependence, and to indirectly prepare for complex abstract concepts.Each child initially responds to an inner urge to develop both knowledge and build identity through spontaneous activity which charts the course for individualized lessons.

Differences Between Montessori & Traditional Approaches

Montessori Approach with Emphasis on Traditional Approach with Emphasis on
Whole to part presentation of subjects.  The universe is presented and then the details. Part to whole presentation of subjects. Details are presented based on graded curriculum and the universe is built detail by detail over a span of years.
Teacher acts as guide and follows the child; child determines direction of learning by own interests. Teacher has central role in classroom activity; child receives direction from adult via predetermined activities.
Material available for exploration. Discipline is external to child via the authority of the teacher. 
Purposeful and self- selected  work provides internal self discipline. Instruction, both individual and group, is adapted to adult’s teaching style.
Through observation, teacher adjusts instruction to child’s learning style.  Most lessons given on a one to one basis. Most lessons given in small to large groups.
Mixed age grouping Same Age Grouping
Community building is encouraged promoting service to others, both academically and socially. Independent work encouraged
The child takes responsibility for his/her own ideas, judgments, actions and decisions. Orientation of work and classroom milieu determined and directed by the teacher.
Child discovers concepts through repetitive work  with manipulative materials. Textbooks and worksheets reinforce lessons given by the teacher.
Uninterrupted work time  is designed into daily schedule to honor child’s individual focus and interests. Instruction pace is usually set by group norm or teacher.
Control of error lies in the material itself.  Child’s own intelligence fosters correction. Work is set up for a right and wrong answer.  Teacher indicates errors.
Self-perfection is a natural tendency of every child and the excitement of self mastery and discovery motivates children to learn. Learning is reinforced by external rewards such as grades, rewards, and verbal acknowledgements. 
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration.  Textbooks and worksheets provide the source of information.
Practical life skills are central to overall curriculum. Child expected to have acquired self- care skills prior to entering school.
Child can work where s/he is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet disturbs not the work of others).  Child  assigned own chair and expected to spend  most of school day stationary.
Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process.  Parent involvement central to assisting with social activities and field trips.
© 2014 Butterflies Montessori School