The Real Difference

 

The formation of children’s fundamental capacities is hugely important during the first years of life – not just academic learning but the ability to concentrate, persevere and think for themselves as well as the ability to interact well with others. Children who have been given the right kind of support during these formative years grow into adults who are self- motivated and love learning, can think flexibly and creatively and who are not only conscious of the needs of others but actively foster harmony as they go through life.

Traditional versus Montessori

 

In traditional education adults decide what children need to learn and the ability to retain and reproduce information is used as a measure of academic success. The teacher is the active giver of information and children are passive receivers.

In the Montessori approach it is all about the activity of the child. The teacher takes on a different role, that is, to provide the right kind of circumstances so that children can be guided to find what they need from what is on offer. Children then become active learners and are able to reach their own unique potential because they are learning at their own pace and rhythm focussing on their own particular developmental needs at that moment.

The Montessori approach provides:

  • An environment that serves the particular needs of each child’s stage of development
  • An adult who understands child development and acts as a guide to help children find their own natural path
  • Freedom for children to engage in their own development according to their own particular developmental timeline

What distinguishes Montessori from traditional programmes?

Montessori Traditional
Emphasis on cognitive development. Emphasis on social development.
Mainly individual instruction. Mainly group instruction.
Mixed age groups. Same-age groups.
Child works at their own pace. Group sets instructional pace.
Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, & help each other. Most teaching is done by teacher, collaboration is discouraged.
Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning. Teacher has dominant active role in child is passive participant in learning.
 Environment and method encourage self-discipline. Teacher acts as enforcer of discipline.

Montessori children are unusually adaptable. They have learned to work independently and in groups. Since they’ve been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices and manage their time well.

They have been encouraged to exchange ideas and discuss their work freely with others. Their good communication skills ease the way when they move on to new academic settings.

Research has shown that the best predictor of future success is high self-esteem. Our Montessori programme, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges and change with optimism.