3 Important Differences Between the Montessori Method and Traditional Education

As a parent, you want the best for your child — particularly where his or her education is concerned. If you’ve been considering a Montessori school for your son or daughter, here are four notable distinctions between this teaching method and more traditional schooling.

1. Varying Age Groups

One distinguishing factor between Montessori and traditional education is the wide age range of students learning in the same classroom. Students of multiple ages learn in sync with one another. The benefits of this format are twofold. In this environment, older children can teach their younger counterparts. This not only helps the younger children learn, but also works to reinforce the knowledge already possessed by children who are more advanced in their education.

2. Tactile Learning

While traditional education often relies primarily on written methods, Montessori education focuses on converting tactile experiences into knowledge. For example, Montessori math materials consist of tangible shapes and objects that improve children’s spatial reasoning and help them learn to quantify real-world objects. The tactile nature of the Montessori method aids in the development of coordination and helps the child establish a framework of order in his or her own mind. This framework is intended to serve as a foundation for a lifetime of learning.

3. Guided Self-Learning

Montessori education allows children to learn at their own pace and in their own creative, individual ways. This stands in contrast to the more structured nature of traditional education, where classes tend to move at one pace and be taught in a single way. The guided self-learning associated with the Montessori method essentially reverses the roles of student and teacher. Instead of traditional classroom roles, where teachers teach and students learn, the Montessori structure establishes the student as a teacher and the teacher as a guide. This approach returns ownership of learning to the students and can help them establish a sense of control and direction over their learning and career paths.

The Montessori method embraces a variety of non-traditional educational approaches. Consider these differences when deciding if Montessori learning would be beneficial for your child.