Kindergarten and Montessori are both very different styles of learning. Yet parents have often been confused when choosing between the two styles. The following list from Triangle Montessori Academy (TMA) provides a detailed explanation of the two styles of learning and education.
- The main difference: Kindergarten is a method of education used by majority schools. On the other hand, Montessori is a method of instruction that is used to educate.
- Structure of education: Kindergarten is a more structured education system where the role of a teacher is pre-defined and they follow the same technique for all students. The Montessori style uses an unstructured approach where each student is allowed to express themselves and the teacher adapts to the students style.
- Age: Kindergarten style of learning is designed for children between the ages of three to five, which forms the base of their primary education. Montessori style is basically for children up to the age of six years after which it becomes optional. Studies have proven that the Montessori approach is also quite beneficial to teenagers.
- Teacher Role: In Kindergarten, the teacher is the center of attention and is responsible for deciding the methods of teaching and imparting knowledge. They decide what, how and when the students learn about a topic or skills. Conversely, Montessori teachers are a guide. They have a very limited role in deciding what the children learn because they do not decide how or what the children learn. They simply introduce a topic to a student and let that child explore the various possible outcomes for that particular topic or problem.
- Learning Pace: In a Kindergarten setup, the child is expected to learn at a similar pace as the other students or they are considered to fall behind. With the Montessori style, children are allowed to learn at their own pace and take their own time to learn each skill.
- Classroom Environment: Traditional Kindergarten style classes are designed to keep the teacher as the focus. Montessori classrooms are designed after child behavior observations and keeping the child as the main focus. This allows individual and focused learning.
There are various differences between the two styles of learning and both have their own pros and cons. The parents must survey and decide which one is best for their child.
Triangle Montessori Academy is a Cary preschool emphasizing art, mathematics, practical life, Spanish, yoga, meditation, and music. The private, year-round school was founded in 2008 and accepts children from 18 months old up to six years old. The school is a member of the American Montessori Society and all teachers are AMS-certified. Students at the school are exposed to Montessori-style teaching approaches, including individual learning according to each child’s style and pace, multi-age classrooms that allow children to advance when they are ready, and a nurturing of students’ natural curiosity.
For more information, call 919.463.7770, or visit our Website at www.trianglemontessori.org.