Where are the desks?

Visit any classroom at Fox Valley Montessori School, and certain differences are obvious. Students sit at tables or on the floor. Teachers move about from place to place, helping as needed.

There is no educational method like the Montessori method. And professional educators are often the first to seek a Montessori education for their children.

Here are a few ways Montessori differs from traditional public and private school environments.

in a Montessori classroom:

Many ways to sit, stand or move while learning

Learning is not limited to the classroom

Teacher guides students to instruct themselves

Teacher is a mentor-aid

Curriculum is integrated

Knowledge is open-ended

Learn from original sources, not just text

Focus is on skills and competencies

Interest and motivation drives student behavior

Students pursue interests and take initiative

Students work in collaboration

Older students help younger students

Students become experts

Mistakes help us learn

Based on a new vision for 20th century learning using the methods of Maria Montessori

in a traditional classroom:

Desks arranged in rows

Learning mainly happens in class, in your seat

Teacher instructs the whole class at once

Teacher is the boss

Curriculum is segregated and abstract

Knowledge is a closed system

Learn from textbooks

Focus is on test performance

Teacher discipline controls student behavior

Student role is passive (“follow instructions”)

Students are in competition

Students collaborate only when directed (“no cheating”)

Teacher is the expert

Mistakes equal faliure

Based on 19th century factory models