Educational Theory by Comparing and Contrasting Two Term Paper

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educational theory by comparing and contrasting two authors of education theory with the Montessori method of teaching. The writer explores all three ideas and discusses their similarities. The writer used four sources to complete this paper.

Since the advent of the educational system there have been many changes throughout the years. As the world evolves and matures and technology advances the world discovers more things that it wants its students taught. In addition there are many different ways to teach and the system has gone from whole language to back to basics and back again. Several forward thinking theorists have developed education theories in which they discuss what they believe to be the most sound foundation for teaching that is available. In John Dewey's Experience and Education and Curriculum and Aims by Decker F. Walker, and Jonas F. Soltis both suggest and develop critiques on education systems that have been tried, as well as discuss reform measures that may be successful it handled correctly. In addition they each touch on the philosophy of Maria Montessori in their foundational beliefs and they seem to address the principles without actually working to dovetail with her theories and system.


For one to be able to compare the various methods and theories with Montessori one must have an understanding of who Maria Montessori was and what her theory of teaching involved.

Maria Montessori believed that preschool was one of the most important ages of a person; life educationally. She understood that this was the time that children could master lifelong learning skills. "Throughout the years she spent working with and observing her charges she became aware of special times which she called 'periods of sensitivity. During these time spans a child's attention is drawn to certain elements in his or her environment with an irresistible impulse (Maria Montessori (" It is during these times according...
...The child develops skills that work together to provide the ability to learn new academics as well as life skills. The Montessori theory believes that the children learn during these windows of sensitivity and that they develop skills which will build on the future at this time. "The Montessori classroom is set-up with specifically designed materials, taking these important aspects of development into account so as to help the children benefit more fully from these 'periods of sensitivity'(Maria Montessori ( classroom is divided into five sections: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematical and Cultural. The program also incorporates creative arts, movement and singing (Maria Montessori (" Another important factor to this theory is that allowing only one activity at a time teaches children to wait patiently for their turn which helps them learn the life long skill of patience and respecting the rights of others.

Arguably the most influential thinker on education in the twentieth century, Dewey's contribution lies along several fronts. His attention to experience and reflection, democracy and community, and to environments for learning have been seminal (John Dewey (" In his writings, Experience and Education Dewey details his education theories and beliefs. Dewey believed that the education of children involves many different factors including, reflection, interest in the community, pragmatism, and interaction (John dewey ( to Dewey a quality education must engage and make larger experiences. This dovetails in part with the philosophy of Montessori in the belief that experience cements knowledge. (Dewey, 1990) He works at promoting the belief that one's experiences are the total foundation for one's learning ability.

In another educational theory Decker Walker outlines similar yet different ideas in Curriculum and Aims. In this work the author discusses the political ramifications of the history of the educational system and how the system has been affected (Decker, 1997). The theories behind this book is also about experiences being incorporated into learning so that the person can build a…

Sources Used in Documents:


Decker F. Walker, Jonas F. Soltis. Curriculum and Aims (Thinking About Education Series)

Publisher: Teachers College Press. (August 1997)

Dewey, John. Education and Experience. Touchstone Books (August 1997)

John Dewey (Accessed 10-27-2002)

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