Thursday, May 13, 2010

Montessori versus Traditional Schooling

As you may have already guessed, there is a vast difference between the Montessori teaching method and those of traditional schooling. There are some excellent articles available on the Web, however I have included a table taken from the Queensland Montessori College website to highlight some of the differences:

Montessori EducationTraditional Education
Teacher has unobtrusive role in class, the facilitatorTeacher is the centre of classroom, the controller
Environment and method encourage self disciplineTeacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Mainly individual instruction Mainly group instruction
Mixed age grouping Same age group
Child chooses own work while teacher monitors progressTeacher assigns work to child
Child discovers own concepts from self-teaching, self-correcting materialsChild is shown concepts by teacher and corrected by teacher
Child works as long as he wishes on chosen projectsChild generally allocated specific time for givenwork
Child sets own learning pace and reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal feeling of success Instruction pace usually set by group norm.If work is corrected, errors are pointed out or praise comes from the teacher
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration Few, but increasingly more
Child can work where he chooses, move around and talk at will yet not disturb others at work, also participate in group projectsChild often assigned own place. Required to participate, sit still and listen during groups
Teacher facilitates organised programme for learning, care of self and environmentCare of self and environment left primarily to parents

It is always important to remember that as parents, we need to decide what's right for each individual child. Some children thrive in a Montessori environment, however others are better suited to the more traditional classroom. Each child is different. While I think alternative education is becoming more widely known and accepted, there are still a lot of parents who don't know there are other options available to them.

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