ERIC Number: ED464766
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002
Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia.
Edwards, Carolyn Pope
Early Childhood Research & Practice, v4 n1 Spr 2002
Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia are three progressive approaches to early childhood education that appear to be growing in influence in North America and to have many points in common. This article provides a brief comparative introduction of these models and highlights several key areas of similarity and contrast. All three approaches represent an explicit idealism and turn away from war and violence toward peace and reconstruction. They are built on coherent visions of how to improve human society by helping children realize their full potential as intelligent, creative, whole persons. In each approach, children are viewed as active authors of their own development, strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self-righting forces within themselves, opening the way toward growth and learning. Teachers depend on carefully prepared, aesthetically pleasing environments that serve as a pedagogical tool and provide strong messages about the curriculum and about respect for children. Partnering with parents is highly valued in all three approaches, and children are evaluated by means other than traditional tests and grades. However, there are also many areas of difference, some at the level of principle and others at the level of strategy. Underlying the three approaches are variant views of the nature of young children's needs, interests, and modes of learning that lead to contrasts in the ways that teachers interact with children in the classroom, frame and structure learning experiences for children, and follow the children through observation/documentation. The article concludes with a discussion of the methods that researchers apply to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. (Contains 43 references.) (Author/HTH)
Descriptors: Classroom Environment, Comparative Analysis, Educational Philosophy, Montessori Method, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Preschool Education, Reggio Emilia Approach, Student Evaluation, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Waldorf Method
For full text: http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/index.html.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Early Childhood Research & Practice: An Internet Journal on the Development, Care, and Education of Young Children, Spring 2002; see PS 030 400. Published biannually. Supported by University of Nebraska Institute for Agricultural and Natural Resources, Journal Series 13466. This paper is an extension of presentations comparing Montessori and Reggio Emilia approaches, co-authored with Paul Epstein at American Montessori Society and National Association for the Education of Young Children conferences, and with Carol Hiler at the Kentucky Early Childhood Association.