TMA Montessori vs traditional schooling approaches and methodologies
There are many differences in the approach and methods used in a Montessori school versus a traditional school. We at TMA offer authentic Montessori schooling grounded in the observations, methods and philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori.
Working in the classroom
TMA: Learners practice their work in the classroom where teachers can assist and give ready feedback.
Traditional: Learners practice at home on their own and are graded on their efforts.
TMA: The classroom is a well-equipped learning environment with materials and resources that invite and promote independent learning.
Traditional: Classrooms are often characterized by rows of desks facing the front of the classroom where the teacher leads the learning process. Students must stay seated during class.
TMA: Individual students work at their own pace at their challenge level and according to their own interests.
Traditional: All students in a class work at the same pace through the same material.
TMA: Learning goals include love of learning, independence as a learner, self-motivation.
Traditional: Learning goals are strongly focused on achieving good test scores and grades.
TMA: Teachers act as guides, coaches and mentors.
Traditional: Teachers primarily deliver instruction to students.
TMA: Mastery of core academic skills is integrated into the study of all subject materials.
Traditional: Academic skills are often taught in isolation so that students are acquiring a skill for its own sake.
TMA: A student’s natural curiosity is nurtured and sustained as a key to exploring the rich scientific and multi-cultural lessons and the beautiful materials that convey them.
Traditional: Materials studied are prescribed by the school or school district. Learning is dominated by textbooks
The Curious Child
TMA: Students are encouraged to develop higher levels of thinking – compare, contrast, evaluate, judge, ask probing questions, identify and solve problems, synthesize what has been learned and apply it to new situations.
Traditional: Students are most often asked to memorize and master facts and information that will be tested.
TMA: Beginning in Toddlers, children of all ages learn the foundational social art of getting along with one another in a peaceful and respectful environment.
Traditional: Social skills are not often part of the classic traditional curriculum. When it is taught, it is more likely as an add-on rather than and integrated fundamental part of the child’s development.
TMA: Multi-age classrooms allow children to advance as they are ready. Older students motivate younger students and consolidate their own learning by helping them.
Traditional: Single age grouping offers little flexibility for children who are advanced or need more help.
TMA: Children can move around the classroom to different work areas.
Traditional: Subject areas are taught in isolation from one another.
TMA: By creating their own work plans beginning in Lower Elementary, students learn excellent time management skills.
Traditional: Time management is not generally taught.
TMA: Students of all ages develop and master skills needed for the 21st century – creativity, cooperation, independence, global competency, and strong communication.
Traditional: Opportunity to acquire 21st century skills is hit or miss depending on the program.