What makes Montessori different?

One of the first things you will notice when you enter a Montessori classroom is the tranquility and order. There is no riot of colour, no layers of displayed arts and crafts. Instead, beautiful materials are laid out carefully, selected artworks adorn the walls tastefully. The children work industriously, with purpose. They have chosen their work and own it with confidence.

Here are some of the key differences:



Motivated by self-development Teacher-motivated
Individual learning Small and whole group learning
Work for joy of working and sense of discovery Work because they are told to
No homework – independent research conducted in the classroom Homework set to build independent research skills
Encouraged to help one another Seek help from teacher
Child chooses materials Teacher sets curriculum
Specific places for materials, sense of order Random placement & many displays of visual collections
Self education through self-correcting materials Use of reward and punishment in motivation
Teacher is observer and director Teacher is focal point and dominant influence
Quiet by choice and out of regard for others Quiet enforced
Multi-sensory materials to develop specific skills Play materials for non-specific skills
Few teacher interruptions Frequent teacher interruptions
Three-year cycles with transition when the child is ready Class change at the beginning of each year