Montessori Approach Traditional Method
Emphasis on cognitive and social development Emphasis on social development
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom Teacher is center of classroom as “controller”
Environment and method encourage self-discipline Teacher enforces discipline
Mainly individual instruction Group and individual instruction
Mixed age grouping Same age grouping
Grouping encourages children to teach and help each other Most teaching done by teacher
Child chooses own work Activities structured for child
Child works as long as he wishes on chosen project Child generally allotted specific time for work
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching materials Child is guided to concepts by teacher
Child sets own learning pace Instruction pace usually set by group
Child spots own errors from feedback on material If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher
Child reinforces learning by repetition and feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by repetition and rewards
Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc.) Less emphasis on self-care instruction
Child can work where he chooses (yet not disturb work of others); group work is also encouraged Child usually assigned own chair; encouraged to participate, sit still and listen during group sessions