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What is Montessori?

The Montessori Method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a child-centered educational approach based on scientific observations of children from birth to adulthood. Dr. Montessori’s Method has been time tested, with over 100 years of success in diverse cultures throughout the world.

It is a view of the child as one who is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child—physical, social, emotional, cognitive.


How is Montessori Different Than Traditional Education Systems?

Montessori Education


Traditional Education

Self Motivation

Montessori education emphasizes internal (self) motivation. The classroom is a precisely prepared environment for individual instruction and self-paced learning. Well-tested teaching techniques and materials are designed to maximize children's time in the classroom. Teachers show students how to create order and discover principles by means of carefully demonstrated lessons that can then be practiced at will.


External Motivation

Traditional education relies heavily upon external motivation. Students are expected to learn specific subjects according to fixed, uniform schedules. Whole class instruction often requires that childhood enthusiasm be suppressed to preserve teaching plans and to maintain classroom order.

Active learning

The child moves freely around the classroom, choosing her own work — and the pace at which she does it — while being guided by the teacher.


Passive learning

The child listens to and follows directions from the teacher who sets the pace of instruction.


Long work periods allow children to focus on deep learning.



Tightly scheduled days value completion of teacher-directed work.


Mixed-age classrooms and self-directed learning encourage cooperation and the development of social skills.



Individual learning graded by the teacher; collaboration and cooperation are secondary.


The learning structure and prepared environment of the classroom promote motivation and self-discipline through freedom coupled with responsibility.


Teacher-directed discipline

The teacher disciplines and encourages motivation using a system of external rewards and punishments.

Holistic development

Montessori education values the emotional, social, physical, and cognitive needs which are essential for the development of the whole child.


Core competence

Traditional systems of education value teaching children mastery of skills and test performance.


See Montessori in Action! Request a visit today!


The World Needs All Kinds of Thinkers

Temple Grandin, PhD, scientist and autism activist, explains that different people learn in different ways—and makes the point that we must embrace all kinds of thinking.

More than JUST great academic standards...

"TMA is an amazing school with great academic standards. But above all TMA is a school that cares about the children themselves. Students' individual needs and personalities are recognized and heard.

Most importantly I believe that TMA helps children become well-rounded and caring individuals who are curious and love to learn."

TMA Parent