|1.||No pre-determined curriculum; material for suitable stages of development is provided, and children choose the materials suitable to their own developmental stage.||Teachers work to a set curriculum.|
|2.||Children work at their own pace and are not hurried to meet a schedule.||Teachers set the pace to get through the work in a specified time-frame.|
|3.||Children are free to explore and discover on their own.||Teachers enforce a lesson plan that is followed every day.|
|4.||Emphasis is on the concrete, as abstract thinking is still developing.||Emphasis on the abstract, which can be beyond the child’s capacity.|
|5.||Reality orientated. Children want to explore the reality they live in.||More role-play and fantasy.|
|6.||Children are given a sense of order and responsibility – everything has to be returned to its place.||Materials don’t necessarily need to go in the exact place from which they came. There is less sense of real order.|
|7.||The learning environment is child-centred.||The teacher is the centre of attention.|
|8.||Children provide their own stimulation and motivation to learn.||Teacher provides the stimulation and drives the learning process.|
|9.||Montessori materials are designed to promote self-education and self-correction:.“Inner motivation” rather than “external-motivation“ is encouraged to grow.||Teachers use reward and punishment as a means to motivate education.|
|10.||Montessori methods recognise children’s sensitive developmental and learning periods.||Children are subjected to a generic approach and treated alike.|
|11.||Maria Montessori designed multi-sensory materials develop specific skills.||Play materials are for non-specific skills.|
|12.||Children are free to move around the classroom and pick materials at will.||Children have to sit in designated places and aren’t allowed to move without permission or choose their own materials.|
It is a system of education for young children created to allow for the development of the natural interests and activities of the child at the individual pace of the child rather than attempting to apply a uniform rate of development. In this respect it differs from traditional teaching methods.
The approach was developed by the Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) and, as she put it, places an emphasis “on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development”.