" Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core. "  

- Maria Montessori


The Montessori method of education was developed by Italy's first female physician, Maria Montessori, over 100 years ago.  This method was developed after hours
of scientific observation and is based on the premise that all children are unique
in their learning abilities and styles.  Below is a comparison of the Montessori method versus Traditional methods.

  1. Respect for individual differences.

  2. Learning process is student-centered and emphasizes self-motivation.

  3. Students are placed in multi-age classrooms so they may learn horizontally from observation of other work, directly and indirectly.

  4. Students learn at their own pace, free to complete a project or pursue a subject as deeply as they wish.

  5. Classroom is used as a library for studying and completing projects: students are free to move as needed and are active participants in building their own knowledge.

  6. Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and to help each other.

  7. Students avail themselves of concrete materials, designed to enhance conceptual thinking. These hands-on manipulations bring about knowledge which is based on experience.

  8. Environment and method encourage self-discipline

  9. Montessori material is self correcting allowing a child to find his/her own errors through feedback from the material. 

  10. Uninterrupted work cycles.

  11. Montessori environment meets needs of students.

  12. Students are active, talking, with periods of spontaneous quiet, freedom to move.




  1. Emphasis is on conforming to the group.

  2. Emphasis is on grades, punishments or rewards as motivating factors.

  3. Students are grouped chronologically to suit teacher’s pre-planned class lessons.

  4. Subjects are taught in lecture form and students must change classes and attend all lessons at the same time.

  5. Students work at desks, passively listening to the lecture. Passive learning is more tiring and the school work day has to be divided into periods with interruptions.

  6. Most teaching is done by the teacher and collaboration is discouraged.

  7. Learning takes place primarily through memorization and repetition of abstract concepts.

  8. Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline.

  9. Errors in child’s work highlighted by teacher.

  10. Block time, period lessons.

  11. Students fit mold of school.

  12. Students are passive at desks.