Montessori Method of Education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900's. She believed that education should prepare a child for all aspects of life.Montessori method of education focuses on the child. It is completely child centered and all the activities are child led. Maria Montessori believed that the children learn better when they choose what they want to learn. It is an approach which values the human being as a whole. Equal importance is given to a child's emotional, physical,social and cognitive growth.
How is Montessori Curriculum different from Traditional Curriculum:
Classroom Structure :
In a Traditional classroom, all the students sit in rows of desks whereas in a Montessori classroom, the students have their workstations. They work in groups or individually and also sit on the floor for group lessons. They have a freedom of movement.
In a Traditional classroom, the children are are grouped chronologically where as in a Montessori classroom, it is non graded. Children of varied age groups sit in a room. for eg. 3-5 years, 6-8 years students sit in a room.
In a Traditional classroom, one subject is taught to everyone where as in a Montessori classroom , children learn at their own pace and decide what they want to do everyday. They can learn individually or in groups.
In a Traditional Classroom , the students are not challenged enough to think and work whereas in a Montessori classroom, the children are given the freedom to think and explore various things. This leads them to try and experiment different things. By the time, the children are six years old, their cognitive skills are already developed.
In a Traditional Classroom, the timetable and the schedule is fixed. The frequent interruptions and breaks hamper children's involvement and focus. In a Montessori Classroom, the children are not bound to a specific time table and a schedule. They have enough time to concentrate and work on a single activity.
In a Traditional Classroom, the teacher corrects the students mistakes or errors but in a Montessori Classroom, the children learn from their peers and are given opportunities to self correct their errors. The teacher acts as a role model and a guide. Children learn through their own discovery and make their own choice.
Dependent on teachers :
In a Traditional Classroom, the students are dependent on teachers, where as in a Montessori Classroom, the children learn on their own.
In a Traditional Classroom, each subject is taught individually and very less practical knowledge is given to the students. In a Montessori Curriculum, all subjects are interrelated and are taught are given practical training.
Student to Teacher Ratio :
In a traditional Classroom, student to teacher ratio is very high where as in a Montessori Classroom, the student to teacher ratio is either 8:1 or 10:1.
This article is an attempt to make people aware of the differences of both the curriculums. Parents have to think and decide which curriculum is best for their child.