Montessori, Reggio & Waldorf
Parents often wonder what the differences are between Montessori, Reggio, and Waldorf preschool philosophies. Here is a brief summary and comparison of the three:
|Founder||Dr. Maria Montessori, early 1900s||Loris Malaguzzi, post-WWII||Rudolf Steiner, early 1900s|
|Learning||Individualized, self-directed activity||Child-centered and collaborative||Holistic approach|
|Pace||Encourages self-paced learning||Emergent curriculum based on child’s interests||Emphasis on play and imagination|
|Curriculum||Practical life skills, sensorial exploration, language, mathematics, and cultural studies||Project-based, emergent, with documentation||Academic subjects and artistic and practical activities|
|Teachers||Guides and facilitators||Co-learners and collaborators||Stay with class for several years|
|Focus||Freedom within limits||Child’s interests and curiosities||Intellectual, artistic, and practical skills|
- Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s.
- Focuses on individualized learning and self-directed activity.
- Children are given freedom within limits and are encouraged to learn at their own pace.
- Curriculum includes practical life skills, sensorial exploration, language, mathematics, and cultural studies.
- Teachers act as guides and facilitators, rather than lecturers.
- Developed in the town of Reggio Emilia, Italy, after World War II.
- Focuses on child-centered and collaborative learning.
- Children are viewed as capable and competent, with their interests and curiosities driving the curriculum.
- Curriculum is often project-based and emergent, with teachers documenting the children’s learning process.
- Teachers act as co-learners and collaborators with the children.
- Developed by Rudolf Steiner in the early 1900s.
- Focuses on a holistic approach to education that addresses the intellectual, artistic, and practical skills of the child.
- Curriculum includes academic subjects, as well as activities such as music, art, and movement.
- Teachers stay with the same class for several years in order to build strong relationships with the students and create a stable learning environment.
- Emphasizes the importance of play and imagination in learning.
Each of these philosophies has unique characteristics and approaches to early childhood education. However, they all emphasize child-centered learning and encourage children to learn at their own pace. Choosing the right one for your child is a personal decision that should be based on your family’s values and goals.