Montessori Model Reggio Emilia Model Steiner Model  Essay

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Image of the child?

Child influenced by forces within self impelling towards growth

A natural intelligence that involves rational, empirical, and spiritual aspects

Child influenced by forces within self impelling towards growth.

Child is social from birth impelled by wonder and curiosity?

Child influenced by forces within self impelling towards growth?

Teaching and learning?

Development is a series of six-year periods each with its own particular sensitivities and education has to be tailored accordingly.

Child is eager to learn and seeks education through play, reality, and work

The child learns by creating changes in the environment / system in which she is involved.

Children explore and investigate a quantity of multisensory elements.

There is no scope and sequence. There is plenty of review.

unity of spirit, soul, and body. Good education restores the balance between thinking, willing, and feeling.

There are three cycles of seven-year stages, each that has its own specific needs for learning. Education is dialectical.


No traditional tests and grades. Parents receive reports and participate in performances

They recommend assessments such as portfolios, multimedia projects, and presentations.

No traditional tests and grades. Parents receive reports and participate in performances.

Documentation is vital where teachers prepare diarios and record children's development.

No traditional tests and grades. Parents receive reports and participate in performances.

testimonials of parents and graduates are gathered as evidence of effectiveness


Highly individualized, supportive, close relationships, serene and beautiful environment?

Complexity, well-being, a sense of beauty and ease?

Child develops in creative and imaginative environment. Nature plays strong role.

Relationship with parents and community ?

Children are grouped into multi-age classrooms that span three years, in order to promote adult-child interaction and close peer relationships

Child interacts with other children, family, teachers, society, and the environment

All are close-knit group. Children forge ties with them and develop within.

Summary of Comparison between Montessori, Steiner, and Reggio Emilio

Image of the child

All three methods see the child in a similar way as one who is innately interested in knowledge, has an innate intelligence and intellectual bent and needs to have this fostered. All therefore work on Platonic principles with the perspective that the child has a core potential within him and that the appropriate environment can stimulate and promote this potential into Ideal.

Steiner sees the child as constitution of mind, body, spirit and posits that education restores the balance between willing, thinking and feeling (Steiner, 1995). In a similar way, Montessori sees the child as composed of equal parts of rational, empirical, and spiritual aspects.

meanwhile, Emilio sees the child as a sociable being who is full of curiosity and wonder and eager to learn.

The environment

The environment too in all models invariably consists of close peer interaction as well as adult-child collaboration. Emilio includes the community. For him education is an outcome of close collaboration with all and the well-adjusted child is a product of his positive experiences with other children, family, teachers, society, and the environment (Malaguzzi, 1993).

Each also shape their environment into a peaceful, complex, aesthetic whole where the child is face with multiple multi-sensory stimuli and where harmony permeates all. All believe that the multi-sensory elements encourage the child to do what he is naturally driven to do, namely to explore and investigate her surrounding. Educations comes as a result.

Child development

Montessori and Steiner parse the child into a sequence of ages with Steiner positing that the child is divided into a 7-year span with dialectal progression whilst Montessori delimits it into 3 years. Each particular age group has its own specific activities and curriculum suited to the model's articulated development of the child at that particular stage .

Steiner, for instance, believes that before age 7, children primarily learn through modeling and creative play. Through ages 7-14 children stay with the teacher and become a close-knit group as teacher presents a multidimensional curriculum that is based on textbooks but exceeds it and that involves all disciplines both scholastic, out-of-doors, and cultural. In the high school years, focus is placed on the intellect and specialized teachers deal with ethics, social responsibility, and mastery of complex and rigorous subject matter.

The Montessori model sees development as consisting of a series of six-year periods like repeating waves, each period containing its particular attributes. The child seeks knowledge through reality, play, and work and these aspects permeate each stage.

Children's classrooms are a mixture of adult and child and children are divided into age groups that span 3 years. Birth to age 3 is the time of the "conscious absorbent mind" (Montessori & Chattin-McNichols, 1995) where child explores through open play. Education progresses to carefully customized individualized instruction where the child is exposed to a curriculum that centers around his innate interests and progresses at her level. From age 6 to 12, children become more broadened and explore rational problem solving, social relations, imagination and aesthetics, and cultural knowledge. From 12 to 18, children construct and explore their social world dealing with it in a decisive rational manner (Finser, 1995).

.Of all, Emilio seems to be the most laid back positing no particular stages or levels of development.

The child, according to Emilio, constructs and shapes his environment and grow as they develop the multiple symbolic images within them. The hundreds of languages that they have are cognitive, communicative, and expressive and include association with words, movement, drawing, painting, building, sculpture, shadow play, collage, dramatic play, and music. Teachers, in the Emilio system, follow the interests of the child and literacy emerges as the child is encouraged to explore and delve into his interests. There is progression, although no scope and sequence (Rinaldi, 2001). Teaching and learning occur between close association of teacher and students and is an emergent, process of introduction and review. Longterm open-ended projects are the norm.

The Teacher

. The teacher serves as nurturer, partner and guide to the child. The environment plays a huge role with its ordered, aesthetic effect, and the teacher accentuates respect for other chidlrent. In all models, teachers play a close role with children, although teachers are more nurturing with younger ages.

The Steiner system has the teacher playing more of a performance role where children model the teacher more than in the other approaches and where teacher models the curriculum and/or project / task. The teacher here is more of a moral impersonator teaching children how to synthesize their feeling, thinking, and willing components in a balanced, healthy manner (Durach, 1998). Color and props are intrinsic to the Steiner environment.

In the Steiner educational environment, too, teachers are more restrained at the earliest ages allowing the natural child to develop, whilst they become increasingly didactic and directive as the age develops (Schwartz, 1996).

The Montessori educator, on the other hand, is unobtrusive director in the classroom as the children play self-directed activity. The teacher closely observes the children and provides an environment of productive calm as the child moves through freely chosen periods of learning interspersed with long periods of concentration broken by gaps of relaxation (Oppenheimer, 1999). In this way the child develops confidence and self-discipline and is allowed to break momentum as his/her choosing.

The Montessori teacher brings the young child into close contact with sensory stimuli and then allows that exploration to develop at will. The Montessori teacher too is more didactic and active with the young child actively introducing her to a range of material and activity that she judges is appropriate to the child's level and personality. The Montessori classroom provides the child with a multiplicity and diversity of materials where children can choose to either play singly or in groups. The children progress at their own pace or rhythm.

The Regio teacher balances engagement with…

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