The Montessori system of education is based on relatively small class sizes and allowing individual students in each class to progress at their own rate, and enjoy a great deal of personal contact and direction from the teacher. Most of the time, the Montessori method is applied to elementary schools, while a small minority of high schools may also use this approach. The key behind Montessori schools is its emphasis of the individual and an education that caters to individual needs.
Some Montessori schools also avoid using letter grades and percentages when evaluating students, in order to emphasize the fact that there is no such thing as a "one size fits all" approach to education, but that each student should have different goals, suited to their specific needs.
Montessori schools also emphasize a "hands on" approach to education. For example, if a teacher was talking to students about plants and seeds, he/she may bring seeds to class so that the students could taste the difference between sunflower seeds and mustard seeds.
The traditional methods used to teach a child do not utilize the "Sensitive Period" fully. We see that in the conventional form of educating, teacher's role is dominant and active whereas child is a passive participant. This passivity can never contribute to achieving the goal. However, in Montessori System Teacher's role is unobtrusive and the child actively participates in learning. It is only through the active participation of a child that the dream of mental growth can be lived. Similarly there is an emphasis on cognitive structures and social development in the Montessori System whereas an emphasis is laid upon rote knowledge and social development.
There are various minute but not minor aspects which are generally ignored, both by the teachers as well as parents. A child, unlike the orthodox form of schooling, must be allowed and encouraged to teach, collaborate and help other students. It would not only clear his own concepts about the subject but will also add to his confidence. It is generally seen that teachers themselves take this role and do not let children explain the subject to other children. Similarly, a child must be allowed as long as he wants to work and must not be enforced to work without will. It will not only increase the phobia of studies in a child but the child will also find whole of the process boring.
The education systems are different in different countries. The differences were more evident in the years gone by, but with the introduction of western education, the methodologies applied were different and according to individual preferences. The approach and application is very different at the preliminary and secondary levels.
One of the most applied methods at the primary or preliminary levels is the Montessori system of learning. While the linear method implies a graded increase with every academic year and a syllabus that is pre-set, according to adult standards of acceptance, the Montessori system is developed to help each child adapt to the pattern adopted at his or her own pace and involves a lot of 'thinking outside the box'. The philosophy and methodology was experimented upon and imparted by Dr. Maria Montessori for pre-school and elementary school goers. She did not believe in the concept that 'children are just adults in small bodies'. She nurtured a pathway that realized that children developed and thought differently from adults. The philosophy and application included ample of visual and audio aids to help children identify better than what they did with the dull, black and white print. This method calls for special vocational training that is offered to teachers for pre-schools and elementary schools.