Comparison of the Program with Montessori method

Prepared by Jayasree Narayanaswamy

Bright Beginnings Preschool follows a developmentally appropriate method, which focuses on the development of the whole child. Some of the important aspects of Montessori methods include prepared environment, child-sized furniture, emphasis on early years, and self-correcting materials with tactile appeal. The Preschool Program has striking similarities with Montessori method in the aforementioned aspects. Children followed their own pace while doing small groups. The puzzles, blocks, play kitchen, child-sized furniture, and a specific place for all the materials etc demonstrate the close resemblance to Montessori curriculum.

Yet, Bright Beginnings Program has an ideology, which is very much dissimilar to the philosophy of the Montessori program. Some of the salient features of the Bright Beginnings Program include

  • Parent Participation: Unlike in Montessori programs, the parents are actively involved in the implementation of the curriculum. Family relationships are appreciated. Parents are provided guidance through discussions.
  • Involvement of the teacher: Teacher is considered as a person who mainly gives instructions to the children and then observes them. There is little intervention. In Bright Beginnings, the teacher plays a significant role. The teacher interacts with the children as well as the parents and provides guidance depending up on the individual needs.
  • Group time: Small group activity and large group activity are key ingredients in the daily routine, where as in Montessori program, children work individually. In other words, learning is an individual experience.
  • Socialization: In Bright Beginnings, socialization and learning through play are given emphasis. Nevertheless, Montessori method focuses on individual learning and does not promote social interactions.
  • Dramatic play: The large group activity includes dramatic play, which promotes self-expression. There is a dress-up area where children can choose their costumes. In Montessori method, there is little scope for dramatic play.
  • Gross motor development: All Montessori materials underscore the importance of fine motor development. There is little room for outdoor activity, which is essential for gross motor development. In Bright Beginnings, outdoor activity is given as much importance as indoor activity.
  • Language development:  Due to constant interaction with teachers and parents, children will get an opportunity to develop their language skills. In Montessori Program, the social interaction is very limited and hence it does not provide enough scope for language development.

The focal point for the Programs is essentially different. In Montessori, it is the development of the child through prepared environment. In Bright Beginnings, it is the development of the whole child and support for the family of the child.