Montessori Center School

toddler through sixth grade since 1965

TRADITIONAL

MONTESSORI

Child is a passive participant in learning

Child is an active participant in learning

Classrooms composed of the same age group

Classrooms composed of mixed age groups covering a three-year span

Students are expected to sit at assigned desks or tables

Students choose where in the classroom they want to work and can move about freely

All students work on the same subject at the same time and a block of time is allotted for each subject

Students work without interruption for a long work cycle choosing what, when, and for how long they will spend on each task.  

Discrete subject matters

Cross-disciplinary thought is encouraged

Adult centered classroom with teacher owning expert status and discipline

Child-centered classroom with students sharing ownership of learning and discipline

Use of work-sheets, rote learning, and textbooks

Use of manipulatives and materials that appeal to each age group, children encouraged to investigate primary source materials and formulate their own questions

Focus on end-product, test scores and grades

Focus on process and learning for its own sake.  Grades are not given.

Emphasis on competition

Emphasis on collaboration

Teacher gives lesson to the whole class

Small group lessons based on individual needs of students.  Students are encouraged to pursue learning independently.

Standards based learning

Inquiry based learning

Students are expected to be within the norms of what is average for their grade level.

Students have the opportunity to advance at their own pace, without limits.

Main focus on academics

Shared focus on the acquisition of academic, social, and practical life skills.