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A Montessori classroom compared to a traditional one (Part II)

As previously seen, there are striking differences between the two methods of education, and it is therefore essential to be well informed in order to make the best decision when it comes to choosing a child’s education. It is clear that on a day-to-day basis a child will spend most of the time with the teacher at school, thus the impact the teacher will have on the child is a meaningful one. 

A Montessori teacher spends a substantial part of his/her time on observing the children in order to be able to guide them better, while a traditional teacher spends the most time of her work teaching the children and preparing lesson plans.  

A Montessori teacher will be very careful to study the child from a considerate distance in order not to disturb him/her in any way, whereas the traditional teacher during individual work often walks around the class and randomly stops at students’ desks, breaking in this way the flow of the child’s activity.

A Montessori teacher talks less and shows more as in this way whenever she teaches something the child’s focus is on the teacher’s guide actions and not on her words. Even more, the child is encouraged afterwards to try it on his/her own, but in a traditional class the teacher talks more and shows less, and the child is rarely given the opportunity to try something on his/her own.

A Montessori class incorporates many activities with a build in control of errors, in this way the child knows without the teacher’s assistance if he/she is doing the activity right or not, however, in a traditional class the child has no control of error and constantly depends on the teacher’s assistance in order to know if he/she is right or wrong.

There are no rewards or punishments in a Montessori class, while a traditional class imposes them upon the child, and in this way, children are encouraged to always look for external motivations, instead of developing a genuine intrinsic desire for knowledge. 


“The teacher’s first duty is to watch over the environment, and this takes precedence over all the rest. Its influence is indirect, but unless it is well done there will be no effective and permanent results of any kind, physical, intellectual or spiritual.” said Maria Montessori stressing the crucial role of a Montessori teacher guide.