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

People often wonder how a Montessori classroom is different from a traditional one. Truth is, there are many differences which have a great impact on a child’s development, and we will try to explain them in this two part article. 

Montessori Classroom

In a Montessori classroom the focus is on the child who is supported in his learning process by the teacher and the prepared environment, while in a traditional system the most important element of a classroom is the teacher, who has elaborated lesson plans and follows them regardless of the level of the child, as the age is the most important and determines where a child’s level should be.


In a Montessori class the child is encouraged to be an active part of it, and to look for activities that interest him the most, while in a traditional class the child is expected to sit down at his table and have generally a passive attitude or, on most occasions the child is encouraged to participate regardless if he/she has any interest for the topic discussed.


When choosing an activity, in a Montessori class the children have the freedom to go take it, and use it for as long as they want. In a traditional class children need to ask permission if they want to move anywhere from their table, and actually most of the time, their classroom is not even a  prepared environment.


In respect to the environment, the Montessori class recreates a real life environment where the children are free to explore and become independent, as these children are prepared for life, in exchange, in a traditional class, the focus is on the intellectual aspect, thus neglecting the physical and spiritual part.

In conclusion, there are major differences between the two methods and it relies on the parents to decide which one they consider as the most beneficial for their child’s education. The second part of the article will mainly focus on the differences between a traditional and a Montessori teacher guide.