Montessori Traditional
Respect for individual differences Emphasis on conforming to the group
Self-motivation and child-centered learning process that promotes independence. There is no competition or rivalry within the classroom. Emphasis on grades, punishment, or rewards as motivating factors.
Multi-age grouping whereby students learn "horizontally" from observation of other people's work, directly or indirectly. Students are grouped chronologically to suit teachers' pre-planned class lessons.
Students learn at their own pace, free to complete a project or pursue a subject as deeply as they wish according to personal enthusiasm and desire to learn. Subjects are taught in lecture form and must change classes and attend lessons at the same time.
The classroom is used as a library or resource for projects and studies. The students are free to move around more and therefore tire less. Students work at desks and passively listen to lectures for long periods. The work period is interrupted frequently to move on as a group.
Students learn by practicing their subject matter while in school with the supervision and assistance of the teacher as needed. Students must practice on their own and be graded on "busy work" or homework that is often done without close monitoring.
Knowledge is acquired through the use of concrete materials, scientifically designed to enhance conceptual thinking and lead to abstraction. Knowledge often consists of memorization or irrelevant information from abstract concepts unrelated to the child's daily life.
Testing is built into the method as the third period of the "three-period lesson" and is applied routinely when the individual is ready. Testing aims at self-correction, repetition and competence. Scheduled testing does not take into consideration the preparation of each individual child. Students are intimidated and taught that passing the test is more important than truly knowing the subject matter.