There are some major differences between a Montessori classroom and a public school classroom. In order to know which option is right for your child, you need to explore those difference. Learning about the educational philosophy of the options and the design of the classrooms will help you make an informed decision about your child’s education.
The Montessori classroom
The Montessori classroom is unique in the way it is designed. The Montessori classroom has a child-centered design. This means that each element of the classroom is set up with the child in mind. All of the supplies are within reach so students can access what they need when they need it. The seating is arranged in a way that allows students to move around, collaborate with each other, and work independently as needed. You will not find rows of desks where the students are expected to sit quietly all day long. The Montessori classroom is designed for hands-on, active learning.
The educational philosophy of the Montessori classroom is based on the belief that every child is naturally smart. The curriculum is designed to allow students the freedom to engage in independent learning. The teacher creates an individualized learning plan for each student that is designed to meet specific learning needs. Students are allowed to progress at their own pace to ensure that true mastery is achieved. The Montessori curriculum follows the lead of students so they can explore their natural curiosity.
Public school classroom
The public school classroom is set up in a more traditional way. Typically, you will find rows of desks facing the front of the classroom. The teacher is at the head of the classroom and the students look to him or her for instruction. There can be variances to this design, but ultimately, the teacher is the one instructing while the students follow along.
The overarching goal of public education is to ensure that every student receives the same level of education. The state dictates what each public program is required to teach. Public programs must base their lesson plans on the standards set forth by the state. This means that public schools do not have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the curriculum they choose.
Is Montessori school or public school right for your child? The major differences outlined above provide you with a good place to start your exploration between the two options. You can learn even more about the differences between the two classrooms by scheduling a time to observe a Montessori class. Seeing how the Montessori classroom operates can clarify all the ways that a Montessori education is different from a public education. Fountainhead Montessori School has five campus in the Bay Area. Schedule a time to observe a class at the campus nearest you to deepen your understanding of the Montessori classroom vs the public classroom.