Montessori at a Glance




Three year span All one age
Motivated by self-development Teacher Motivated
Ungraded Graded
Self-correcting materials Teacher corrects errors
Children learn by handling objects and teaching themselves Teacher lectures
Individual learning Group learning
Teacher is observer and director Teacher is focal point and dominant influence
Child completes “cycles of activity” Activity cycles determined by set time
Few interruptions Frequent interruptions
Freedom to move and work within classroom Assigned seats and specific class periods
Emphasis on more cognitive learning Postponement of 3R’s, emphasis on social development
Quiet by choice and out of regard for others Quiet enforced
Materials used for specific purpose with sequence of steps Materials used in many ways without previous instructions
Work for joy of working and sense of discovery Work because they are told to
Environment provides discipline Teacher provides discipline
Encouraged to help one another Seek help from teacher
Child chooses material Teacher sets curriculum
Child sets own pace Teacher sets pace
Emphasis on concrete Emphasis on abstract
Reality-oriented Much role-playing and fantasy
Specific place for materials, sense of order Random placement, not necessary to return to specific place
Child provides own stimulus to learning Teacher provides
Child-centered learning environment Teacher-centered
Self-education through self-correcting materials Use of reward and punishment in motivation
Recognition of sensitive periods All children treated alike
Multisensory materials to develop specific skills Play materials for nonspecific skills