'The key difference between a conventional classroom and a Montessori environment is found in the scientifically designed materials.'Yes - this is what has struck me about 'conventional' vs Montessori teaching. In my experience mainstream teachers are forced to reinvent the wheel - most teachers will 'make' their own lesson/lesson materials, there may be some sharing but not on the scale of Montessori provision. Precious teacher energy is spent re-producing materials that are inexpensive, quick and easily replaceable..... Montessori allows, by virtue of its financial basis, the 'teacher' to become a guide, their time is directed to being there for the child, not conjuring up materials that are as progressive as they can imagine given their conventional structure limitations. It's not that mainstream teacher don't want to be more Montessori like, I am sure, but mainstream would need to invest heavily in exactly the same kind of scientifically designed materials that embody knowledge and free up the teacher - more efficient in the long run.