Montessori Class Size

Conventional vs Montessori

Conventional approach:

Research shows that a classroom with fewer students improves learning and grades. In teacher-centered instruction, the teacher speaks while students listen, take notes and ask questions. Students move as a group through a lesson unit, and a smaller class is necessary to make it easier for no child to be left behind. Children who aren’t able to keep up and those who become bored and disengaged are often shortchanged in this style of instruction.

Montessori approach:

The Montessori approach is child-centered and based on the child’s stages of development.


In the Primary classroom, lessons are presented mostly to the individual child, tailored to the development of each student. Following the progress of the child, new lessons are presented. In the Elementary classroom, lessons are presented mostly to small groups.

In a Montessori classroom, children of different ages work independently and seek help from the teacher or other students as needed. Working in this manner facilitates peer-to-peer learning, which allows students to deepen their understanding of the material.

…because in real life:

The Montessori method is uniquely suited for preparing students for today’s highly dynamic work environment. Here’s just one example: The Agile methodology has been widely adopted in leading technology and research enterprises.

The similarities between Montessori and Agile are striking. The Agile Manifesto describes it as “a collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional groups promoting adaptive planning, evolutionary development, and rapid and flexible response to change.” This describes what takes place every day in a Montessori classroom.