School's History and Mission Title
acp logo  
School's History and Mission
Directions and Maps
Enrollment Procedures
Montessori Method and History
Other Information
School Calendar
School Pictures



Traditional Approach Montessori Approach
emphasis on rote knowledge and social development

emphasis on cognitive structures and social development

teacher's role is dominant and active; child is a passive participant

 teacher's role is unobtrusive;  child actively participates in learning

teacher is primary enforcer of external discipline

environment and method encourage internal self-discipline

individual and group instruction conforms  to the adult's teaching style

individual and group instruction  adapts to each student's learning style
same age grouping

mixed age grouping
most teaching done by teacher  and collaboration is discouraged

children encouraged to teach,  collaborate, and help each other
curriculum structured with little regard for child's interests

child chooses own work from interests and abilities

child is guided to concepts by teacher

child formulates concepts from self-teaching materials
child usually given specific time for work

child works as long as s/he wants on chosen project
instruction pace set by group norm or teacher

child sets own learning pace to internalize information
errors corrected by teacher
child spots own errors through feedback from material

learning is reinforced externally by rewards and discouragements learning is reinforced internally through child's own repetition  of activity, internal feelings of success

few materials for sensory, concrete manipulation multi-sensory materials for  physical exploration development

little emphasis on instruction on classroom maintenance organized program for learning care of  self and self-care environment

child assigned seat; encouraged to sit still  and listen during group sessions child can work where s/he is comfortable,  moves and talks at will (yet doesn't disturb others);  group work is voluntary and negotiable

voluntary parent involvement, often only as fundraisers,  not participants in understanding the learning process organized program for parents to  understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process