There are different models of education though many people are more familiar with conventional or regular classroom education. The other model of education that can be chosen by parents for their children is called Montessori.
Both models of education are beneficial to the children by there are some striking differences between them. The main difference between Montessori and regular education is that the former is spontaneous whereby pupils are expected to learn on their own while regular education is teacher centered.
More details about the differences between Montessori and regular education are discussed in detail below.
Key characteristics of Montessori
Montessori education is self directed and it specifically encourages the pupils to have hands on experience on their learning process. In other words, emphasis is put on the need to ensure that the pupils learn by doing and collaboration among them is encourage since this helps to improve their creativity. The pupils also work in groups or individually but emphasis is put on the need for them to be creative in a bid to improve their potentials in different aspects.
The major striking difference between the two models of education is that Montessori specifically caters for individual needs of the pupils such that they can develop their natural interests. It is believed that pupils use their instincts to understand naturally the things that are of interest to them hence the need to develop them.
The other difference is that Montessori learning does not use coercion to force the children to learn. The pupils spontaneously learn on their own free will and they are not pressurized by their teachers to concentrate on their studies. This is a good method of learning since the pupils will be in a better position to develop interest towards their studies on their own will.
Montessori classrooms are viewed as secular since they do not have religious or spiritual basis. They are treated as natural environments whereby all children are viewed as naturally willing to learn. Pupils are encouraged to understand the essence of learning not simply forced to memorize the contents of a particular topic.
Key characteristics of regular education
Regular education is teacher centered learning that involves a group of pupils in classroom and a teacher. The pupils learn from the teacher.
In this model, the pupils learn basic educational practices that include academic subjects like math, reading, writing, science and social studies. The curriculum in regular education is designed by regulatory bodies like federal or states and these give funding to the institutions that offer this type of education.
The regular model of education is often viewed as hell by many pupils since they are coerced or forced to learn. According to this model, pupils are expected to understand all the academic subjects taught so that they can excel in their studies. Apart from this, pupils who fail to master different subjects are coerced by their teachers so that they pass.
Regular education involves religious studies. Pupils are compelled to study and understand different religious issues as determined by their regulatory authorities that are responsible for designing the curriculum for education. It is believed that religious education develops the moral values of the students.
Advantages of regular education
The major advantage of regular education is that it abides by the standards that have been approved by the state as ideal. The quality of education should be determined by the standards that are set by the regulatory body within the country. There should be conformity in the curriculum such that it becomes easy to measure the expected standard of education through the use of the qualifications obtained by different individuals.
The other advantage of regular education is that public schools for example are legible for state funding. This makes them obliged to provide equal opportunities for each child. The other advantage of state funding is that pupils with special cases are given free services and this helps to ease the financial burden among the parents of the affected parties.
Table showing the difference between Montessori and regular education
|Aimed at development of natural human being||Focused on national curriculum|
|Children teach themselves and they follow personal interests||Similar curriculum for everyone is followed and the teacher teaches the pupils|
|Pupils are active participants in their learning and they acquire knowledge from different materials||The pupils are passive learners and they heavily rely on the knowledge imparted to them by the teacher|
|Children can work from places where they feel comfortable||Children sit behind desks that are arranged in order|
|Collaboration is encouraged among children and the teacher where motivation is achieved through self development||The teacher usually leads all the proceedings and motivation is achieved through punishment and reward|
|Comprised of mixed age groups||Comprised of same age groups|
|Internal discipline is encouraged||External discipline is enforced by the teacher|
|Pupils have uninterrupted learning period||Children are given specific period of completing certain tasks|
|Emphasis is on social, intellectual, emotional as well as acquisition of practical and academic skills.||Main emphasis is put on intellectual as well as academic development|
Summary of the main differences between Montessori and regular education
- Montessori learning environment is prepared in advance to facilitate child observation
- Regular learning environment is usually teacher centered since he or she is responsible for all the activities that take place within that area
Child participation in learning
- Montessori learning is characterized by active child participation through hands on experience on various activities
- Pupils are passive learners in traditional learning. They are expected to get it from the teacher instead of doing it themselves.
Role of the teacher
- The teacher acts as a guide to individual students as they perform various activities.
- The teacher directs the lesson and instructs the students about what to do. A lesson is conducted simultaneously for everyone.
- The age groups of the Montessori learners are mixed and they usually depend on the level of child development
- Learners within a regular learning setup are strictly expected to adhere to a specific age group that is measured using a period of twelve months.
Nature of curricula
- The curricula is adaptable to student needs, it can change any time as long as it suits the needs of the learners.
- The curricula is predetermined and it does not involve the needs of the students
Pace of learning
- Montessori education encourages individual pace of learning, children are encouraged to learn on their own pace.
- In regular learning, all pupils are expected to adhere to the same pace of learning.
- A self sense of pride and esteem motivates the learners to love their education in Montessori and their accomplishments also play a role in motivating them.
- In regular learning, motivation is believed to come from external sources and children are expected to learn because it is mandatory. Learning is part of their curriculum.
- The major objectives of Montessori education focus on development of social, intellectual, emotional as well as acquisition of practical and academic skills.
- The major objective of regular learning is intellectual as well as academic development of the children. The learners are expected to pass the tests and examinations.
Over and above, it can be observed that both Montessori and regular education are both forms of learning but they significantly differ in many respects as illustrated above.
In Montessori learning, the children are encouraged to use all their senses instead of just listening, reading or watching as emphasized in regular learning. The other issue is that children are encouraged to learn on their own pace in Montessori classes while in regular classes, the children are expected to keep the same pace.
The other striking difference between Montessori and regular learning is that education is treated as an exciting experience of discovery which helps to build confidence, motivation as well as development of the love for learning.
On the other hand, learning is viewed as mandatory in regular education. Discipline is thought to be self developed in Montessori learning while it traditional education discipline is enforced by the teacher. While on the issue of teachers, it can be observed that they lead the learning process in regular education while in Montessori classes the children determine their learning activities.
Children are placed in mixed groups in Montessori classes depending on their level of acquisition of knowledge while learners are categorized according to age groups in regular learning setup. The approach to education by Montessori is completely different from the traditional approach.