The unique characteristics of the Montessori educational program provides an inclusive and academically rigorous environment where individual differences are accepted, peers give each other recognition and assistance, peer tutoring and collaboration are encouraged, and whole-child development is fostered. Montessori classrooms feature developmentally appropriate mixed-age groupings backed by years of research in a multitude of fields to create a rich, dynamic, and collaborative environment to grow these skills.


The Montessori curriculum is designed to meet physical, intellectual, social, and emotional needs of children at progressive stages of maturity and is aligned with all state curriculum standards. The instructional methods inherent in the Montessori approach are particularly appropriate for student populations with a wide range of learning styles and needs, ranging from students with learning disabilities to highly capable students.

Montessori Northwest Elementary Classroom
Montessori Northwest Classroom

Montessori classrooms preclude comparisons, accommodate uneven development, and easily accommodate support and interventions. The flexible yet highly-structured learning environment encourages students to feel successful in school. Children have diverse opportunities to develop their potential as they grow into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding and appreciation that learning is for life. While traditional instructional models increasingly incorporate aspects of Montessori, data supports the most powerful approach is its full implementation!





Traditional schools rely on textbooks, pencil and paper and worksheets to teach children. Many of these materials are not provided for the student and are left to parents to provide.

Materials in the Montessori classroom are designed to be hands-on, which enables the child to discover new subjects and gain independence. There are rarely any outside materials required, as all of the materials are provided in class.


The standardized nature of the program creates a natural disconnect between intellectual and social development. As each subject is taught in a specific block of time, students are discouraged from socializing, as this would cause distractions within the classroom.

The Montessori classroom focuses specifically on developing both the intellectual and social development of the child. Children are taught how to be courteous, and learn about different cultures around the world. Older children within a classroom are encouraged to help younger children learn; leading them through their own knowledge and experience.


A one size fits all program that focuses on narrow, unit driven curricula required by the Department of Education.

A Montessori education is a unified, time tested curriculum defined by the child's needs and interests. Students can study the subjects they wish to learn, while STILL following the required program developed by the Department of Education.


The educational program for traditional school focuses on individual subjects, each taught within a specific time-frame every day.

Each subject is tackled in a multitude of different ways, integrated into all of the possible activities a child may focus on. This ensures that a child will be able to learn the subject in a way that caters to their needs.


In a Montessori classroom, children are free to move about the room and work with very few interruptions. Time is scheduled with long periods of free work time, allowing a student to work on a single subject for hours or many small projects through the day.

Everything a child learns in a traditional school is based on the class schedule. A student's learning is thus limited to the specific block of time the teacher allows before moving on to the next subject. As such, there are many different interruptions within a school day.


Montessori classrooms are mixed aged, and older children gain leadership skills by mentoring younger children.

Classroom ages vary only by about a year, and there is little to no interaction between grades.


The Montessori program is designed with long blocks of free time, in which students are allowed to freely move throughout the classroom. This allows a student to remain engaged in learning.

During instruction students are required to remain at their desks, in absolute silence as the teacher lectures about a subject. 


The school meets the needs of students, allowing them to become strong, capable individuals.

Students fit the mold of the school: "Cookie cutter students"


The Montessori program believes in fostering creative problem-solving, which allows a child to work on a project until the project is done correctly. Each piece of material is designed to be self-correcting, allowing a student to work on the problem until the correct solution is found. As such, students rarely need to leave for special help, as the teacher is free to help students as needed.

Children must rely on a teacher to grade their work and there may be no opportunity to correct the work for a better grade. As such, many students have to leave the campus and pay for special help in mastering the subjects.


Montessori education progresses at the speed the child chooses. It uses progress-focused assessment via skills checklists and mastery benchmarks to grade a student's learning. Free to pursue their interests, a child is rarely (if ever) bored with learning. Students get to focus on the subjects that challenge them, instead of waiting on others to complete a subject they are already confident in.

Grades follow a standardized, norm-referenced assessment procedure. Due to the standardization of the program, a child who excels at a subject must wait for the other students to complete the subject before beginning the next subject.



"What happens after Montessori?" is a common question we are often asked by parents who are concerned about their child's transition from a Montessori classroom environment, to a Traditional classroom environment.

Jesse McCarthy, with, interviewed a Montessori alum, Meredith Narrowe, about her transition from a Montessori school to a public elementary school. 

This podcast is an excellent glimpse into how Montessori education affects the lives of its students.

The Montessori environment offers children opportunities to develop their potential as they grow into the world as engaged, competent, responsible, and respectful citizens with an understanding that learning is for life.

The greatest gifts we can give our children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence." 

Dr. Maria Montessori

Gladish Community & Cultural Center

Suite 215





  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

Please contact us if materials are needed for languages other than English.  We will gladly accommodate with translation services.