Montessori Schools versus Traditional Child Care or Preschools

Some Comparisons Of Day Care Or Child Care Centers using Traditional Education With Montessori Education

There are a number of differences inherent in a Montessori program when comparing to a traditional early childhood education experience. Some simple things include:

Mixed-age classrooms
Why? We’re not bound by the curriculum in a classroom, children are constantly challenged and can progress at their own pace. Also young children have role models to look up to in the older children.

Montessori certified teachers
Special materials unique to the Montessori method which foster critical thinking and problem solving skills
A unique environment focused on a peaceful, calm experience for the child

Montessori children are unusually adaptable when compared to child attending regular daycare or childcare centers. They have learned to work independently and in groups and develop the skills necessary to effectively collaborate with all types of people. Since they’ve been encouraged to make decisions from an early age, these children are problem-solvers who can make appropriate choices and manage their time well as opposed to traditional structured day care programs where the teacher is continually “managing” the classroom or telling the child what to work on or correcting the child’s work.

Step By Step Montessori’s students are encouraged to freely exchange ideas and discuss their work with others. Their good communication skills ease the way in new settings. Research has shown the best predictor of future success includes a positive sense of self-esteem. Montessori programs, based on self-directed, non-competitive activities, help children develop strong self-images and the confidence to face challenges with optimism. Here is some research on the benefits of Montessori.Montessori’s global influence and impact is felt throughout the world, it has been in practice for over 100 years, it’s the largest pedagogy, or teaching method, in the world with over 22,000 Montessori schools in 120 countries.

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding our program.

Step By Step Montessori

Traditional Day Care or Child Care Settings

Emphasis on cognitive structure and social development.

Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development.

Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning.

Teacher has domain, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning.

Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline.

Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline.

Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student’s learning style.

Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult’s teaching style.

Mixed age grouping.

Same age grouping.

Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other.

Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged.

Child chooses own work from interests and abilities.

Curriculum structured for child with little regard for child’s interests.

Child formulates own concepts from self-teaching materials.

Child is guided to concepts by teacher.

Child works as long as she/he wishes on chosen project.

Child generally given specific time limit for work.

Child sets own learning pace to internalize information.

Instruction pace usually set by group norm or teacher.

Child spots own errors through feedback from the material.

If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher.

Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success.

Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards/discouragements.

Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration.

Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation.

Organized program for learning care of self and environment (cleaning the sink, taking care of plants or animals, etc.)

Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom maintenance.

Children work where she/he is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet does not disturbs the work of others); group work is voluntary and negotiable.

Children usually assigned their own chair in day care; encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.

Contact Us

Step By Step Montessori Headquarters
4355 Highway 169
Plymouth, MN 55442
Phone: (763) 557-6777
Fax: (763) 557-6888
E-mail: info@stepbystepmontessori.com
Find a Step By Step location near you.