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Charlotte Mason vs Montessori

What is the difference between mainstream, Montessori and Charlotte Mason Education?

The mainstream education system was designed in and for the industrial era. It has been labelled the “factory model of education” where children pass through a standardized system in order to produce workers for the economy.

Both Maria Montessori and Charlotte Mason were education reformers who rejected the idea that children be seen as products of a system. You may find that schools that embrace their philosophies are similar as they both are intentional about preparing beautiful learning environments for children whose value is esteemed. However, their underlying philosophy of education differs as evidenced below:

Schedule of the day:

  • Montessori schools will allocate long periods of uninterrupted and unstructured time (2-3 hours) in which the children choose what they focus on.
  • Charlotte Mason schools have multiple short lessons in a day covering a broad range of subjects.

Role of the teacher:

  • The Montessori teacher guides the child as the child chooses what they learn.
  • The Charlotte Mason teacher presents the carefully selected texts and then directs the child to pay attention to and engage with various ideas relationally.