847.705.1234 CONTACT US

Montessori vs. Traditional Education

The goals of both Montessori education and traditional schooling are one and the same: they both seek to educate children. Whereas a Montessori education at the Montessori Academy of North Hoffman involves tuition, there is inestimable value to be found in our child-centered methods and learning cycles. Montessori education fundamentally believes that the education of the whole child is crucial in the development of citizens of our future world. The education models are very different between both school systems.

 

Montessori Traditional
Emphasis on cognitive, social, and physical development on an individual level Emphasis on rote learning, with cognitive, social, and physical development addressed as a whole group
Child is taken from current ability to develop to his fullest potential Empty Vessel Model—assumes that child enters school without prior knowledge
Teacher has a guiding role: assists child in auto-learning Teacher controls classroom and is the central figure of the environment
Environment assists child in developing social responsibility, self-discipline, and problem solving abilities Teacher is the primary enforcer of discipline and central to problem solving
Mainly individual/small group instruction Mainly whole group instruction
Mixed-age groups Uniform age in the class
Child chooses work with guidance from the teacher The curriculum is decided for the child
Child discovers learning through self-corrective materials and exploration Child is directed to concepts by the teacher
Child is given time to complete lessons/work Child is allotted specified, limited time for work
Motivation is fostered by a learning pace based on the interests and ability of the child Mid-level students dictate the pace of work
Child reinforces learning by repetition of work Learning is reinforced externally based on rewards and punishment
Child can choose where she works but must respect others’ work needs Child is usually assigned a seat or placed in a designated group by the teacher
Multi-sensory materials for physical exploration encourage learning care of self, the environment, and the global community at large No organized program for learning care of self, the environment, or the global community—this is left primarily to the parents
A non-competitive environment with assessment focused on learning/discovery process Competitive environment with report cards focused on product
Hands-on approach to learning with materials designed for specific purposes/learning goals Focus on verbal instruction with an emphasis on rote learning
Emphasis on building a strong sense of community through meaningful social interactions Designated social interaction time such as recess

Authentic Montessori Education and the Accreditation Process

Many schools throughout the world offer Montessori education. But what distinguishes one school from another? At the Montessori Academy of North Hoffman, we follow the principles of Authentic Montessori Education and are accredited with the American Montessori Society. While any school can open its doors and call itself Montessori, we take our authentic Montessori practice very seriously. In 1999, we were the 42nd Montessori school in the nation to be accredited and have since maintained our status.

Accreditation involves a self-study with metrics to support that the self-study is an accurate representation of the school. Additionally, a team from the American Montessori Society visits the school for a multiple-day observation to validate the self-study and metrics. The self-study includes:

  • Montessori Learning Environment
    • The Montessori Academy of North Hoffman considers a beautiful, nurturing environment to be of supreme importance in the education of children. Therefore, we prepare our environments with the intent that each child’s natural tendencies can be developed and realized. The classrooms of our day school are designed with the rationale that the child must be able to function with ease and engage in purposeful activity. In an effort to inspire each child’s intrinsic motivation and encourage independence, we prepare materials so that they are inviting, challenging, and accessible.
  • Montessori Learning Activity
    • The array of materials available in the classroom aims to spark a child’s interest and supplement their knowledge. An enticing environment gives the child the opportunity to actively learn. The school strongly believes in an uninterrupted work period that allows for immersion in concentrated activity and self-discovery. The child enjoys individual liberty based on ground rules. Clear guidelines with consistent reinforcement, along with freedom within the boundaries of safety and respect, allow the child to attain a degree of responsibility.
  • Montessori Learning Relationships
    • The School helps our children recognize that they are part of a larger community and that their contribution is invaluable. Our classrooms thrive in a multicultural environment to ensure the mix of genders, ages, personalities, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds helps them learn how to appreciate and respect one another’s similarities and differences. Competition is discouraged—every student’s work is considered a unique reflection of their effort. The multi-age classroom also allows for interdependence among students, providing older children opportunities to act as role models and practice leadership skills while inspiring younger students to be drawn to broader interests after observing their older peers.
  • Montessori Spirituality
    • Children are innately spiritual. We believe our task is to nurture, protect, and nourish this by providing a peaceful, safe, and loving environment. Teachers encourage students to express their inner joy and wonder at the marvels of nature. They strive to spark each child’s imagination by the presentation of the world as a harmonious whole. We use the ThinkVirtues curriculum for all of our students from primary through Erdkinder. This curriculum is designed to expand vocabulary and encourage positive behaviour through its focus on virtues. Virtues like love, generosity, responsibility, forgiveness, and tolerance are instilled in children by role modeling, discussions, and cooperative work periods. We strive to guide our children to distinguish right from wrong and to develop a conscience with a moral foundation. Children also learn Socratic dialogue and create a take-home virtues journal as part of the program.
  • What the Montessori Teacher Is
    • Our teachers are sensitive and understanding individuals who consistently enforce boundaries in the classroom, exhibit warmth in their relationships with their students, and speak to students in a calm, gentle tone of voice combined with genuine love, empathy, and enthusiasm. Our teachers maintain an active learning environment through keen observation. They time their lessons appropriately, intervening only when a child needs guidance or help. Our teachers’ primary task is to meet the natural tendencies of the children while stimulating their interest.
  • What the Montessori Teacher Does
    • Teachers are instrumental in creating a community of learners where each individual student works for the betterment of themselves and the community. Children learn that all members of the community are important and learn to weigh individual wants against community needs. In this way, they learn to prioritize collaboration and compassion. Our teachers present lessons to focus the child’s attention to the activity at hand. Our teachers strive to facilitate each individual’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and moral development. They act as exemplary models within the classroom, actively involving themselves in learning with the students and instilling moral values. By empowering the child and respecting individual differences, our teachers impart tolerance, patience, and acceptance of others in their students.

Freeman West

1250 Freeman Road

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions

Freeman East

1200 Freeman Road

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions

Huntington

3805 Huntington Blvd.

Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

  847-705-1234 Learn More & Get Directions