The Montessori School of Pensacola

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The Montessori Approach

The Montessori approach to education differs from a traditional educational system in a number of areas:

The Montessori Model

Traditional Education

Model whole child approach: values cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development. Emphasis on acquisition of knowledge.
Teacher is facilitator and guide; child is an active participant. Teacher’s role is dominant; child is passive participant.
Teacher uses individual and small group instruction; personalizes instruction to meet individual student needs. Teacher uses mainly group instruction designed to meet the needs of the majority of the students.
Child sets own learning pace. Teacher sets instruction pace for the group.
Mixed age grouping. Same age grouping.
Children are encouraged to help, work with, and teach each other. Most teaching done by the teacher; collaboration is limited and controlled by the teacher.
Children have choices within the classroom and are given “freedom within limits”:

  • Child has choices regarding work (teacher will guide, as needed, to assist student in making appropriate choices).
  • Child has choices regarding where to work and can move around and talk as long as others are not disturbed.
  • Child has choices about how long to work on specific activity or project.
Teacher makes most of the decisions in the classroom:

  • Teacher chooses work for the child.
  • Children typically are assigned seats at desks or tables. Children are encouraged to sit still and listen; movement is discouraged.
  • Teacher decides how much time is spent on each activity.
Discipline is designed to develop children who are self-correcting.

  • Norms based on mutual respect; children involved in setting norms.
  • Teachers set limits and offer choices to children within the limits.
  • Children experience the consequences of their actions, promoting responsibility and accountability.
  • Children make good and poor choices; poor choices are viewed as an opportunity to develop the child’s problem-solving skills.
Discipline is designed to control the behavior of children.

  • Teacher sets rules and enforces them.
  • Rules are reinforced by rewards and punishments.