Montessori vs Traditional Education

It is every parent’s desire to provide their child with a proper, well-rounded education. It can be quite intimidating at first to choose an educational institution for the child when one does not know where to begin.

The education of a developing mind should be constructed with immense research and must cater to every aspect of the child development process.

Parents must understand that education for young children is more than just a rigid curriculum and stressful examinations.

Education is a pathway towards building the child’s inner potential as well as helping the child become a contributing participant at home, in the classroom, and the school. 

The Montessori Method of education takes the child’s holistic development into thorough consideration and provides the child with an institution that is well-structured and balanced in terms of curriculum as well as the environment.
The Montessori method of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907.

With Rigorous research and examination of human behavior, Dr. Maria Montessori created a method that provides:

  • Academic Development
  • Physical Development
  • Cognitive Development
  • Emotional Development
  • Social Development

To a wide range of learners all around the world. 

One key Principle of the Montessori Method of Education is the facilitation of “Cosmic Education“.

The Concept of Cosmic education is a cornerstone of Montessori Philosophy that helps the child understand the concept of the Universe and the interconnectedness of all the things present in the universe. 

Unlike the Traditional Pre-School Education that usually facilitates education to all children as a unit, The Montessori Method of Education focuses on the individual journey of the child.

The Montessori Philosophy of education unlike any other traditional method of education is based on the following key principles: 

  • Principle of Absorbent Mind
  • Principle of Respecting the Child
  • Principle of Individual development
  • Principle of Intrinsic rewarding and non-punishing system 
  • Principle of Auto learning 
  • Principle of Prepared Environment 
  • Principle of Sensory training
  • Principle of Motor training 
  • Principle of Development from within

All these principles of the Montessori Method provide children with holistic development and instill ethical, practical as well as social values that Traditional Pre-schools seldom incorporate in the curriculum. 

Philosophies of Montessori and Traditional Pre-Schools: 

The Educational Philosophy of an institution lays down the foundation and framework of:

It is a prerequisite for parents to understand the basic philosophy of the institution before they enroll their child.

There are some noticeable differences between the philosophy of a Traditional Educational Institution and a Montessori Educational Institution. 

Philosophy of a Traditional Institution:

  • The Traditional Institution promotes teacher-centric education, where children are instructed to sit in a well-structured classroom. 
  • The teacher is the source of the Information and knowledge and should help the child get acquainted with a variety of topics, concepts, and activities. 
  • The pace of the educational process is pre-determined by either the administration or the teachers. 
  • The length of the day in a Traditional Educational Institution is fairly the same and sometimes is broken into small fragments to fit the requirements of different age groups.  

Philosophy of a Montessori Institution: 

  • The Montessori Philosophy promotes hands-on learning that helps the child venture out of their comfort zone and explores the surrounding environment. 
  • The Teacher is not the source of information and knowledge in a Montessori Institution, instead acts more as a guide toward the source of information. 
  • The Curriculum of Montessori Education relies heavily on sensorial stimulation, which is facilitated with the help of specifically designed Montessori Materials.
  • The Montessori Method of Education also promotes auto-didactic education and does not limit the child’s educational process, by constraining it with a rigid curriculum and pre-determined pace. 
  • The Montessori Method of education takes the individuality of each child in the classroom into account. The teacher must treat every child in the classroom as a separate individual. 

Difference between Montessori and Traditional Education based on their Philosophies: 

Here is an overview of the differences between the Montessori Method of Education and the Traditional Method of Education.  

Montessori EducationTraditional Education
Montessori Education Provides an Adaptable curriculumTraditional Education facilitates education on the basis of Rigid and Pre-determined Curriculum
The child is an Active Participant during the learning processThe child is a Passive Participant during the learning process
Children are motivated to learn based on their own pace and their own experience.The children are taught by a teacher who follows a pre-determined schedule
Mix Age groups Same age groups 
Uninterrupted work cycles Pre-determined Schedules, lessons, and periods
Montessori Education promotes internal self-disciplineThe teachers are the external enforcer of discipline
Prepared Environment: takes requirements of children into accountWell Structured Environment: does not take requirements of children into account 
Promotes the development of cognitive, physical, sensorial, emotional, and social aspects The main emphasis is on cognitive and intellectual development 

Key Differences between the Montessori Method of Education and Traditional Method of Education In Detail: 

After taking the differences between the educational philosophies into account. The Parents should further learn about the salient features of both educational institutions into account.

Here is a list of the key differences between the Montessori Method of Education and the Traditional Method of Education one should keep in mind:

The Prepared Environment: 

Montessori Education: The Montessori Method of education provides children with a Prepared Environment that caters to every need and requirement of the child’s development process. The Environment of the Montessori institution is child-centered. 

Traditional Education: The Traditional Institution provides children with a pre-determined and well-structured environment that does not take into account the needs and requirements of children into account.
The Environment of a Traditional institution is teacher-centered. 

Active and Passive Learning: 

Montessori Education: The Montessori Method of Education promotes hands-on learning as well as self-directed learning that helps children confidently participate in activities and discover information on their own. 

Traditional Education: The curriculum and lectures of a Traditional institution are heavily dependent on the teacher.
The teacher in a traditional education set usually provides the information by orating the lectures to children. The children are not active participants during the education process. 

Time and Pace: 

Montessori Education: The Montessori Method of education is a child-centered approach, where children are encouraged to develop at their own pace.
The children are able to immersively indulge in the activities without inference and interruptions. 

Traditional Education: The Time and schedules of a Traditional educational institution are mostly pre-determined.
The children have to follow the rigid and arbitrary schedules of a Traditional institution which can often become stressful for the children. 

Flexible Curriculum: 

Montessori Education: The Curriculum of a Montessori Institution is flexible and adaptable according to every individual child’s requirements. 

Traditional Education: The curriculum of a Traditional Institution is rigid and pre-determined.
The curriculum does not take the needs and requirements of the child into consideration. 

Role of the Teacher:

Montessori Education: The role of a teacher in a Montessori Institution is as a guide, a facilitator, and a director.
The Teacher should guide the children toward the source of information as well as consult and assist the child on a one-on-one basis. 

Traditional Education: The teacher in a Traditional Institution becomes the source of information.
The lessons, timings, and pace are pre-determined and the teacher must facilitate education at the scheduled time, and deliver the lessons at the designated pace to all the students at the same time. 

Grade levels: 

Montessori Education: The Montessori Curriculum and grades are divided on the basis of Planes of Development.
The grades range from:

  • 0-3 years (infancy)
  • 3-6 years  (toddler)  
  • 6-9 years  (early childhood) 
  • 9-12 years  (childhood) 
  • 12-15 years (adolescence)  
  • 15-18 years  (adolescence) 

The Montessori Grade levels are flexible.

  • Traditional Education: Traditional Institutions have rigid grade levels and are divided on the basis of the child’s chronological age.

Seekers of knowledge: 

Montessori Education: The Montessori curriculum, environment, and activities help facilitate the development of the child’s inner curiosity.
The Curriculum of the Montessori Method is inclusive, adaptable, and customized according to the child’s requirements.
The child is encouraged to Search for knowledge present in the environment which helps the child develop a natural interest in learning.  

Traditional Education: The Traditional Educational Institution promotes standardized methods of learning along with a standardized curriculum. The rigid curriculum does not facilitate the development of the child’s natural curiosity.
The child feels the need to learn because it is mandatory. 

Development of Inner Pontentialities Self-Esteem:

Montessori Education: The Montessori Method of education gives children a chance to indulge and interact with materials and peers, as well as participate in activities on their own terms. 
The hands-on learning approach helps develop a sense of freedom and provides optimum development of the child’s self-esteem.
The children in a Montessori Institution are provided with the proper environment, activities, curriculum, and materials to develop bring out and maximize their inner potential. 

Traditional Education: The Children are not provided with the proper tools to develop their potential or self-esteem in Traditional institutions.
The children have to heavily rely on outward validation to develop their self-esteem.

Why choose a Montessori Institution for your child?

The Montessori Method of Education focuses on more than just basic curricula and co-scholastic activities. It is a way of life that focuses on the holistic development of the child.

If you are looking for an educational institution that intimately focuses on the child’s social and emotional development, in conjunction with academic attainments, then a Montessori Education is meant for your child!

Unlike Traditional Educational Institutions, The Montessori Method of Education promotes children to reach their maximum potential by providing them with appropriate opportunities.

Not only does the Montessori Method of education focuses on every pupil’s individual development, but also encourages children to indulge in several continuous challenges and activities.

The aspect of challenging children to the maximum ability is often overlooked in Traditional Educational Institutions.

See Also: