Montessori vs. Traditional

Montessori Education

Traditional Education

Based on helping the natural development of the human being Based on the transfer of  a national curriculum
Children learn at their own pace, following their own individual interests.  The teacher is unobtrusive Children learn from a set curriculum according to a time frame that is the same for everyone
Child is an active participant in learning Child is a passive participant in learning
Understanding comes through the child’s own experiences via the concrete materials and the promotion of children’s ability to find things out for themselves Learning is based on subjects and is limited to what is given
Learning is based on the fact that children learn through experience with their senses and movement Children sit at desks and learn from a whiteboard and worksheets thus, not truly experiencing concepts.
Child can work where s/he is comfortable, move around and talk at will as long as not disturbing others Child is usually assigned own chair and encouraged to sit still and listen during group sessions
The teacher works in collaboration with the children The class is led by the teacher
The child’s individual development brings its own reward and therefore motivation Motivation is achieved by a system of reward and punishment
Children reinforce their own learning by repetition of work and internal feelings of success Learning is reinforced externally by rewards.
Environment and method encourage internal self-discipline Teacher acts as primary enforcer of discipline
Child works as long as s/he wishes on a chosen project in an uninterrupeted work cycle. Child generally given specific time for work in a set timetable.
Mixed age classes Same age classes
Working and learning matched to the social development of the child. Working and learning without emphasis on the social development of the child
Shared emphasis on intellectual, social , emotional and spiritual development Main emphasis on intellectual development.

South African Montessori Association (SAMA)

This is a non-profit organisation with the prime purpose of:


“Uniting Montessori professionals across Southern Africa by encouraging global best practice in Montessori methodology. Montessori schools are individual, unique and separate entities.  “MONTESSORI” is not trademarked, therefore we endeavour to promote and protect the interests of our members, be they institutional or individual.”  (SAMA, 2023)


The Association offers a three tier membership process for schools; initiate, progressive and full.  Ocean View is a ‘full’ member of the association due to having registrations with the Department of Social Development and the Department of Basic Education. Furthermore Ocean View fully adheres to SAMA’s ‘Six Fundamental Principles of Montessori Best Practice’


  • Classes in Montessori Schools are mixed-age and non-graded. The Toddler Environment, the Pre-primary Environment and the Primary Class are all vertically grouped.
  • Montessori schools accommodate an extended period of uninterrupted self-chosen activity, promoting extended periods of concentration. This is the morning work cycle from 8.00 until 10.30.  Specialist lessons only take place after this time and extra murals are available after school.
  • Rewards and Punishments are not used in a Montessori environment. The child’s intrinsic motivation is encouraged an in this way, children work for self-development rather than reward.  Our class room ground rules give clear expectations for behaviour and children are given age appropriate guidance on behaviour.
  • A prepared environment is a critical component of Montessori Pedagogy. Our Toddler, Pre-primary and Primary environments are fresh, inviting and beautifully curated to stimulate learning for each age group.
  • The adults in the Montessori environment exhibit and apply the principles of Montessori pedagogy.  Our team are lifetime Montessorians who embrace the method and deliver it with integrity
  • Montessori schools implement the SAMA Montessori curriculum for ages 0-12.  We have integrated SAMA curriculum with the requirements of the National Curriculum and CAP.

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