Montessori v Traditional Nursery

A common question asked by new parents is, 'what is the difference between Montessori and a traditional nursery education'.

Montessori is a natural holistic approach to education where the emphasis is not only academics but also on personal, social and emotional development. At even the earliest age, the children enjoy a great deal of autonomy where they are encouraged to do things themselves; putting on their own coats, shoes and aprons, helping themselves to morning snack and using the toilet without asking. They are free (within limits) to choose their own learning according to the naturally occuring sensitive periods during a daily 3 hour uninterrupted 'work' period; practical life, sensorial, literacy, math or understanding of the world. The prepared environment is calm, orderly and purposeful with the use of natural and aesthetic pleasing materials. The children are either working independently or collaboratively; at a table, on a floor mat or outside. Adults are not teachers but are instead guides who respect, observe and facilitate each child's learning and personal interests.

In a traditional nursery, the children are directed through an adult prescribed curriculum and daily schedule; playtime, maths, literacy, snack time, story time. There is no personal differentiation, the children instead being treated collectively. The classroom is typically noisy and there is usually little attention in preparing an environment which encourages early learning with lots of brightly coloured plastic toys, games and wall displays. The nursery teachers are similar to surrogate mums, helping not only in the children's learning but also with personal care and hygiene.

In the Montessori environment, the children not only begin on their academic journey but also develop the personal attributes of independence, confidence, self-esteem, curiosity and a love of learning that is so essential for the 21st century.

To learn more about how Marbella Montessori can benefit your child, send us an email to or give us a call on 0034 952 884 153.

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Tel: 0034 952 884 153

       0034 600 850 114



Casa del Abuelo,

Urb. Valle del Sol,

29670 San Pedro Alcantara

Marbella, Malaga, Spain