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Answer Line: How Montessori differs from other classes

Nov. 24, 2017 at 11:01 p.m.

QUESTION: What is the Montessori teaching method? I've heard a lot of people talking about it because of the new Montessori school that Longview Independent School District built, but I don't know how it differs from traditional teaching methods.

ANSWER: Thanks for asking, because, frankly, I've never understood myself. Jacqueline Burnett, the district's early childhood director, was nice enough to provide some detailed examples of how Montessori classrooms operate differently from traditional classrooms. Here are some of the examples she provided:

Montessori classrooms have "respect for individual difference," while traditional classrooms emphasize conforming to the group;

Montessori classrooms are "child-centered" with an environment that encourages self-discipline in students; traditional classrooms are adult-centered with teacher control over the classroom and discipline;

Montessori classrooms have "multi-age groupings" so students learn "horizontally" by seeing other people's work; students are grouped chronologically in traditional classrooms "to suit teachers' pre-planned class lessons;"

Students learn at their own pace in Montessori classrooms, with "personal enthusiasm" guiding project completion or pursuit of a subject; students in traditional classrooms are taught in lecture form, and they change classes and attend lessons at the same time;

Student learn by practicing subject matter in school with teacher assistance or supervision as needed in Montessori classrooms; traditional classrooms require students to "practice on their own and be graded on busy work or homework that is often done without close monitoring;'"

In Montessori classrooms, "the classroom is used as a library or resource room for projects and studies; the children are free to move and tire less;" in traditional classrooms "students work at desks and passively sit to listen to lectures for long periods. The work period must be interrupted frequently;" and

Montessori classrooms use manipulatives and materials "that appeal to the senses," and they have "purposeful, real-life experiences;" traditional classrooms use worksheets, repetition and textbooks.

Q: Who is responsible for scheduling the Longview/Beaumont playoff game for a night game? The UIL or who? It required players, bands, families, friends and fans in general to drive 200 miles to get here and then have to either head back home after the game is over at 10:30 p.m. (or later) or stay overnight in a hotel here in town. I notice a lot of playoff games are being held mid-day Saturday, which makes much more sense. When the Lobos played in Beaumont last year, was it a night game or Saturday afternoon game?

A: It was a local decision. Here's what head football coach/athletic director John King said:

"Longview won the flip to play on Friday night instead of Saturday. We were unsure about the date of second round game and we didn't want to lose a day of preparation, so we flipped for Friday. We did move the start time up to 7 p.m."

Longview played the same Beaumont high school in the playoffs in 2016, and it also was a Friday night game but in Beaumont.

— Answer Line appears Thursday and Saturday. Email questions to, leave a message at (903) 232-7208 or write to P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606.



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