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"My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding from secondary school to University
but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity and effort of will."
- Maria Montessori

What makes Montessori Different

Montessori curriculum has a far-reaching scope compared to general educational curricula that focus on technique and time-frame of imparting knowledge. The pinnacle of Montessori curriculum is peace. Maria Montessori believed that education is the only genuine mean of bringing a lasting peace among men. Not only Montessori curriculum expanded scope of academic topics at every level, but it also fosters skills needed to make global citizens who live and work for peace. These skills are self-discipline, respect for others, appreciation of diversity, creative and critical thinking, communication and conflict-resolution skill.

Compare with Traditional education

The goal of Montessori Education is to aid life. The importance of Montessori Education is not to pass students to the next grade, but to give children a solid basis as they grow to maturity. Freedom given to children in the prepared environment helps children take charge of their own education and other responsibilities later on in their lives. Traditional education prepares children to serve in static environment where things remain constant for a relatively long period of time. Whereas, Montessori education prepares children for the present time and the future where things change quickly and unpredictably. With unlimited information available in our present time, education cannot be merely a transfer of knowledge from teacher to students any longer. Children must be equipped with tools and skills for acquiring knowledge. Teachers must know how to preserve the children's natural curiosity. Children will then be flexible, proactive, creative, motivated, and caring members of the world.

The tables below compare Montessori education to the Traditional Education
Montessori Education
  • Child-centered education where each child chooses activities based on his or her interest.
  • Child has freedom to move around the class doing purposeful activities.
  • Child works at his or her own pace.
  • Child has an uninterrupted time to work in his choice of work. Usually child should have 3 hours of an uninterrupted time. Mixed age group focuses on natural social cohesion and interaction. Children take on different roles through 3 years.
  • Child has freedom of movement in his environment.
  • No reward or punishment as motivations to learn. Montessori believed in the natural drive to learn in all human. Reward and punishment are obstacles to the process. Active learners will follow their interest and find joy in learning. Child takes charge of his own education.

Traditional Education
  • Teacher-centered education where teacher chooses activities for the whole class to do.
  • Working space, usually desk or table, is specified to a student for each task or activities.
  • Teacher decides the period of time within which the activity needs to be done.
  • The specific time period is assigned for specific work. Usually a short period of time is assigned to do a task.
  • Same age children in one class focus on competition.
  • Child is assigned to a desk and chair with limited freedom to move.Punishment and reward in form of grades and ranks are used to drive children's learning performance.
  • Learning is focused on transferring of knowledge from teacher to student. Using spoon-feeding method, students wait to be told what to learn.