Quad City Montessori School, est. 1969

Quad City Montessori School

2400 East 46th Street
Davenport, IA 52807

+1 563 355 1289

Office Hours
Monday thru Friday
8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Now enrolling for the 2020-2021 School Year.

Call today for a personal tour and see how a Montessori education can benefit your child. Space is limited!

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Child-Centered vs. Teacher-Centered Programs

Two QCMS students working together
Two QCMS students working together

The Montessori educational approach or child-centered approach is unique from traditional educational approaches. Montessori methods are systematically designed to meet the specific needs of each child rather than the average child. For this reason, children involved in Montessori education often have better outcomes – no matter what their individual ability or disability may be. In addition, children who have been educated using the Montessori method grow to be lifelong lovers of learning, rather than to see learning as a “have to.” The Montessori method focuses on the development of the whole child, rather than only a child’s intellectual/cognitive development. Curricula and programs are designed for maximum growth in social, emotional, spiritual, physical, motor and cognitive development.

Because the philosophy of the Montessori method is different, so is the framework of education.

Just some of these differences are: 





Low student: teacher ratio (1:10 or less)   Higher student: teacher ratio (1:20-25)
Multi-age groupings with a focus on the peer modeling and reinforcement   One age grouping
Students have the same teacher for three years allowing for long-term, trusting relationships   Teacher changes yearly
Child is free to move about room, interacting with anyone   Child is encouraged to stay seated, silence is encouraged
Everything is introduced experientially with manipulatives   Manipulatives usually used only in math
Environment is maintained by children with a focus on personal responsibility and pro-social skills   Environment is maintained by teacher and custodian


Practical life activities used to develop sense of order, cooperation, concentration and independence  

No practical life


Sensorial activities are systematically used to refine coordination, discrimination and vocabulary   If used, sensory activities are used sporadically and not as an integral part of the curriculum
Writing precedes reading   Reading precedes writing
Phonetic, sight vocabulary and whole language are all used to meet individual needs and learning styles of children   Language texts used (although some schools are now using whole language approaches)
Grammar introduced in kindergarten and taught in context   Grammar taught out of context (from text) at older ages
Interdisciplinary approach is used for art, music, history, physics, ecology, zoology, botany, geography, anatomy, chemistry, foreign language, physical education   Separate texts are used for social studies, science, health and music
Math concepts and processes are introduced early   Rote learning is used to teach math facts

Daily lesson plans are determined by each child’s needs

  Daily lesson plans are determined by teacher’s manual
Lessons are given 1:1 or in small groups
  Lessons given to all students in a class at one time
Use of texts are for reference; lessons and activities are teacher-made   Texts are used for all subjects with little individualization
Character Development

Child-centered activity and curriculum


Teacher-centered and curriculum-centered activities

Internally motivated; children work because they want to   Externally motivated; children work because they have to
Child chooses work and works as long as he/she wants, allowing for self-monitoring and concentration   Teacher chooses work
Work continues until a child masters a concept   Pace of activities is determined by teacher’s manual
Non-competitive processes; no reference to other students’ “grades” or “scores”   Competition for grades among peers; emphasis is on tests and grades
Hands are considered a pathway to the brain and a mechanism to understand abstraction   Paper/pencil and oral explanation are used to “teach” abstraction
Children are introduced to concepts first; details are learned after a concept is mastered   Children learn detailed information first, then the concept