The Montessori Model:

The whole-child approach: values cognitive, emotional, physical, and social development.
Teacher is a facilitator and guide.  The child is an active participant.
Teacher uses individual and small group instruction; personalizes instruction to meet individual needs.
Child sets her own learning pace.
Mixed-age grouping.
Children are encouraged to help, work with, and teach each other.

Children have choices within the classroom and are given “freedom with limits”:

  • Child has choices regarding work; the teacher guides, as needed, to assist the 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.

Discipline is designed to develop children who are self-correcting:

  • Expectations based on mutual respect; children are involved in setting expectations
  • Teachers set limits and offer choices to children within those 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
Progress is reported through conferences and narrative reports and is based on portfolios and a mastery checklist

Traditional Education:

Emphasis is on acquisition of knowledge.
Teacher’s role is dominant; child is passive participant.
Teacher uses mainly group instruction designed to meet the needs of the majority of the students.
Teacher sets instruction pace for the group.
Same-age grouping.
Most teaching done by the teacher; collaboration is limited and controlled by the teacher.

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 discourages
  • Teacher decides how much time is spent on each activity.

Discipline is designed to control the behavior of children:

  • Teacher sets rules and enforces them.
  • Rules are reinforced by rewards and punishments.
Progress is reported through report cards and grades and conferences and is based on test scores and other grades.
Eric AppletonWhy Montessori?

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