Difference between Kindergarten and Montessori

Key difference: Both Kindergarten and a Montessori focus on providing fundamental education to children, before they begin their formal schooling. The difference between them lies in their methods of imparting education. Kindergartens tend to make learning fun and pleasurable for the children, whereas a Montessori tries to cultivate habits of natural learning in them.

 Kindergarten means an academic course deployed for children from three to five years of age. Education techniques in a kindergarten are so customized that the children take an instant liking to their lessons. Post kindergarten, a child begins its first year of formal education in a school. At a kindergarten, social skills such as self-esteem and discipline are inculcated in a child. Along with focusing on developing a child’s academic ability, sufficient playtime is also ensured to the child at a kindergarten. A kindergarten usually offers more formal education than other types of formal schools.

Montessori describes a scheme of education, particularly for young children, which was founded by an Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori. Maria’s teachings helped trigger an educational movement, which is valued by people till this day. In a Montessori, prominence is placed on the mental and physical evolution of children. The children here are given a chance to express themselves and learn naturally from their routine experiences. Any school can name itself as Montessori, because of the absence of a legal copyright on the name of Maria Montessori.

Comparison between Kindergarten and Montessori:





From German Kindergarten, literally "children's garden"

Named after an Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori.


Making learning fun and enjoyable

Developing a child’s senses and natural abilities


Upper Kindergarten and Lower Kindergarten

Montessori is a type of preschool in itself

Grading system




Kindergarten began in the 19th century

Montessori came into existence in the 20th century

Image Courtesy: mtlsd.org, livingmontessorinow.com

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