Maria Montessori Waldorf Education

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Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy was the founder of Montessori education while Rudolf Steiner an Austrian philosopher and educator was the founder of Waldorf education. There are many similarities as well as differences between the two approaches which will be discussed in this essay.

Firstly the essay will discuss Steiner’s and Montessori’s philosophy, then the environment and materials used, as well as, what’s a typical day like in Steiner’s and Montessori’s preschool and what they focus on in education and lastly the essay will outline the role of the teacher.

Steiner’s philosophy was called Anthroposophy, which believes that child is a spiritual being. Steiner believed that children learn through their senses, movement
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In Comparison, Montessori also believed that a child is a spiritual being and therefore should be educated as a whole – in an intellectual and spiritual way. Montessori’s philosophy also focused on the fact that each child is unique with natural eagerness and motivation to learn during its sensitive period. Montessori also believed that children should have the freedom of choice in everything they do, unlike Steiner’s preschools where the choice is divided between the students and the teacher, i.e. Child is the one that chooses what is going to be done during free play time but then it is up to the teacher to choose what is going to be done during circle time. In contrast to Steiner, Montessori did not think of play as an important aspect of learning. Instead of imaginative free play Montessori used structured play as Montessori believed that “children need to learn through meaningful tasks and that imaginative play would only distract them from real world”…show more content…
Rhythm and Repetition makes a child feel secure and know what to expect, therefore, a day in Steiner’s Kindergarten is always divided the same way. First part of the day is spend on general activities such as painting, in which whole group participates – these activities are done at a teacher’s pace, then there is a small break before children start the second part of the day which consists of free play – this is done at a child’s pace and the child is in full control. The group then meets one more time for a circle time which is when a teacher organises a story, poem, dance or a song with different movements or steps that children will try to imitate. What things are done during circle time is completely up to the teacher. At the end of the day there is also a quiet time set aside for reverence. In contrast to Steiner, Montessori’s day looks completely different. Children arrive in the morning and choose their own work. The whole day is done at a child’s pace. The child also has the freedom of choosing what they want and do not want to learn. All lessons are given on one to one basis. There is no group time like in Steiner setting. Lessons are also given only when children are ready for them. Montessori education uses 3 stage lesson – Association, Recognition and Recall, as well as, phonetic teaching instead of 3 R’s which are used by
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