What's The Difference?
Montessori and traditional schooling share the goal of helping the child learn; however, they strive to achieve this goal in very different ways. The kind of learning experiences each school provides and the methods they use are quite different. Montessori educators believe these differences are important because they help shape what a child learns, his work habits, and his attitudes toward himself and the world around him.

Montessori vs. Traditional


Emphasis on Cognitive and
Social Development

Teacher has guiding role

Environment and method encourage

Mainly individual instruction

Mixed age groups

Grouping encourages children to
teach and collaborate

Child chooses own work

Child discovers concepts from
self-teaching materials

Child is allocated time to work on
and complete lesson

Child sets own learning pace

Child spots own errors from
feedback of material

Child reinforces own learning by repetition of work and internal
feelings of success

Child can work where he chooses,
move about and talk at will
(yet not disturb work of others).
Group work usually voluntary

The program for learning care of self and environment is organized around multi-sensory materials


Emphasis on Rote Learning and
Social Behavior

Teacher controls classroom

Teacher acts as primary enforcer
of discipline

Mainly group instruction

Same age groups

Teaching is done by teacher; collaboration is discouraged

Teacher assigns work for child

Child is guided to concepts
by teacher

Child generally allotted specific
time for work

Instruction pace set by group

Errors in child's work highlighted
by teacher

Learning is reinforced externally
by repetition, rewards and

Child usually assigned seat;
required to participate during
group lessons

No organized program for
self-care instruction - left primarily
up to parents

Although we have both small-group and whole-class activities, the heart of our program is individualized, one-to-one presentations by the Montessori Certified Teacher. The Montessori Teacher observes the progress of each child and is able to tailor her presentations to fit the child. Because our Montessori teachers are trained for and committed to individualized teaching, they can ensure that the pace is appropriate for every child. Thus, a child who is ready and eager to move on to a new challenge does not have to wait for other children to be ready for the same thing. Likewise, a child who needs a little extra time to master a concept or skill can have that extra time without feeling any stress or pressure.

The Montessori rooms are spacious, attractive, orderly, and filled with a marvelous abundance of beautiful educational materials, most of which were designed by Dr. Maria Montessori herself. These are materials which have been "child-tested" by the children of many countries over many years. The materials have been repeatedly demonstrated to be both appealing to the children and helpful in their development.

Mary Theresa Anderson and Dr. James B. Anderson opened their first school in St. Cloud in 1968 because they wanted their own three young children to have the opportunity for a Montessori foundation. The schools are operated as independent private schools with a Christian orientation.

Visitors are welcome at all our schools.
It’s a great way for you to see the benefits of Montessori first hand.
Please call for an appointment.