01. Emphasis on cognitive structure and social development. Emphasis on rote knowledge and social development
02. Teacher has unobtrusive role in classroom activity; child is an active participant in learning Teacher has domain, active role in classroom activity; child is a passive participant in learning
03. Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline Teacher acts as primary enforcer of external discipline
04. Instruction, both individual and group, adapts to each student’s learning style. Instruction, both individual and group, conforms to the adult’s teaching style
05. Mixed age grouping Same age grouping
06. Children are encouraged to teach, collaborate, and help each other Most teaching is done by teacher and collaboration is discouraged
07. Child chooses own work from interests and abilities. Curriculum structured for child with little regard for child’s interests
08. Child formulates own concepts from self-teaching materials. Child is guided to concepts by teacher.
09. Child works as long as she/he wishes on chosen project Child generally given specific time limit for work
10. Child sets own learning pace to internalize information. Instruction pace usually set by group norm or teacher
11. Child spots own errors through feedback from the material If work is corrected, errors usually pointed out by teacher.
12. Learning is reinforced internally through the child’s own repetition of an activity and internal feelings of success. Learning is reinforced externally by rote repetition and rewards/discouragements.
13. Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration Fewer materials for sensory development and concrete manipulation
14. Organized program for learning care of self and environment (polishing shoes, cleaning the sink, etc.) Less emphasis on self-care instruction and classroom maintenance
15. Child can work where she/he is comfortable, moves around and talks at will (yet disturbs not the work of others); group work is voluntary and negotiable. Child usually assigned own chair; encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions.
16. Organized program for parents to understand the Montessori philosophy and participate in the learning process. Voluntary parent involvement, often only as fundraisers, not participants in understanding the learning process.