Montessori learning is a completely different approach to education. The appearance of the classroom, the way students learn, how they are taught, and the desired outcome are all handled differently - and for good reason. Once you understand how and why Montessori works, you will never want to go back to traditional teaching methods again.
The Learning EnvironmentWhere traditional information relies on learning information from books, the Montessori method allows children to play a part in choosing what they will work on, and how long they will work on that project. Just walking into a Montessori classroom makes it obvious that this is a different method, with learning centers and activities strategically placed around the room in a way that is appealing to the children rather than the teachers.
Memorization vs. Personal ExperienceA traditional classroom encourages children to memorize information and regurgitate the same data back on demand. In the Montessori environment, textbooks have largely been replaced with activities. Children are encouraged to investigate and to perform activities and projects in order to learn specific information. The idea is that physically doing something is a better way to learn than simply being told that a piece of information is correct. Montessori will devote time and space to individual play and study because all children are inherently different, while the traditional classroom is focused on everyone learning and behaving exactly the same as everyone else.
Teachers Make the DifferenceIn a traditional classroom, the teachers may or may not be specialized for the subjects they are teaching, based on the school’s needs and budget constraints. In the Montessori classroom, the word “teacher” has been replaced with “guide,” a friendlier and more accurate description. In Montessori, the student guide plays multiple roles, including instructor, counselor, advisor, and friend. A lot of each guide’s day is spent working one-on-one with students, guiding them towards understanding important concepts or helping get past a particularly difficult lesson.
Building Responsible, Motivated PeopleThe goal of traditional education is to churn out students who understand the basics of education. In Montessori, the goal is to turn out accomplished students who have learned to become responsible, respectable members of their community. Traditional schools ignore individuality in favor of conformity, while Montessori schools treasure respect for oneself and for others as a vital part of maturing.
Montessori education and traditional teaching methods are worlds apart. Montessori encourages children to learn at their pace, create their own educational goals, maturing into kids who are able to work together to solve a problem and take pride in a job well done. Traditional education wants graduates who can hold a job, while Montessori is teaching children to lead the way. We invite you to tour the Montessori Children's House and meet with our staff to learn more about the Montessori Method and how it it could be a good fit for your child.