Main Differences Between Montessori And Traditional Education

children in montessori education

While both styles of education have their advantages, there are important differences between Montessori and traditional education. Parents who have a strong preference for a particular style of teaching can choose a private Montessori school or college based on the type of curriculum they prefer. Parents can also choose a traditional school that is near their home. Whether you are looking for Montessori preschool education or one based at a traditional school, there are many differences between the two educational methods.

First, there are similarities.

Both types of schooling provide students with a strong education in the liberal arts and sciences. Also, both types of education will teach students how to properly interact with others, as well as how to find and fulfill their personal goals. This includes homeschooling the students.

In addition to the different types of learning methods, there are also other similarities between the two. Both types of courses require that students have strong written and verbal skills. While Montessori learning styles rely on a high level of independence, most traditional classrooms feature a stronger emphasis on group work and conversation. Students also learn best when they are given meaningful activities to participate in after school.

However, there are key differences between Montessori and traditional education.

One of the biggest differences is the educational method. Both types of programs will place a strong emphasis on self-directed learning, which means that students learn best when they are actively involved in the process of learning. Both types of programs also encourage independent learning by allowing students to self-pace and to gain knowledge through listening, reading, and using the tools that are offered through the program. They may also be given some extra teaching as needed.

children stretching in classroom

Montessori students

Montessori students work throughout the day. With some learning in the morning, some at night, and others throughout the day and night. They are allowed to move ahead at their own pace and are never held up by other students. Students in a traditional homeschooling education are required to complete work within set times, often with the help of other students, and they are held up by teacher reviews and tests. Those in a Montessori program are encouraged to pursue learning at their speed.

Greater leeway

Another key difference between the two is that students in a Montessori education program are given greater leeway in how and when they can study for the classes that they need. They don’t have to wait for a teacher’s permission to read ahead, study for an exam, or do extra homework during class time. Many traditional homeschooling programs require that students do their classwork at the same time every day. This can be very stressful for students who need to be in multiple classes. With Montessori learning, students can pick and choose the time they study or apply what they’ve learned throughout the day. They may read a chapter of a book at lunchtime and spend the rest of the evening working on a project. Or, they may read during the night and then use the next day’s reading material.

Classroom hours

Another big difference between the two is that students in traditional educational situations aren’t required to have classroom hours. These days, families may work around school hours. This way, their children can get the all-important homework done without feeling pressured. Many traditional classrooms even allow their students to finish work on their own time. Montessori programs are not like this. Students still need to do homework and complete projects. But, they don’t need to worry about having set hours.


There are many similarities between Montessori and traditional education. Both types of education encourage independence, creativity, self-reflection, and the development of independent thought. If your child exhibits any of these qualities, a Montessori program might be ideal.

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