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Montessori Comparison


Emphasis on:
cognitive and social development

The teacher has an unobtrusive role in the classroom

Environment and method encourage self-discipline

Mainly individual instruction

Mixed age grouping

Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other.


The Child chooses their own work


The child discovers his or her concepts from self-teaching materials.


The Child works as long as he wishes on the chosen project.


The Child sets his own learning pace


The child spots his errors from feedback on material


The child reinforces his learning by repeating work and internal feelings of success


Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration


Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc.)


A child can work where he chooses, move around, and talk at will (yet not disturb the work of others); group work is a voluntary 


Emphasis on:

Social development

The teacher is the center of the classroom as a "controller"


The Teacher acts as the primary enforcer of discipline


Group and individual instruction


Same age grouping


Most teaching is done by the teacher


Curriculum structured for child


The child is guided to concepts by the teacher


The child is generally allotted specific time for work


Instruction pace is usually set by group norm


If work is corrected, errors are usually pointed out by the teacher


Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards


Fewer materials for sensory development


Less emphasis on self-care instruction


Child usually assigned own chair: encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group sessions


Voluntary parent involvement

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