Now that you are a parent and your child is at an apt age to go to school it is the time that you choose whether your child will learn the Waldorf way or the Montessori way. Both are types of alternative teaching methods where your child has his/her own independence to go ahead and understand abilities.
In order to understand which method of education is best suited to your ideologies and what you want for your child, read on to find out more.
What is Montessori?
Montessori Schools are unique in their own way. Montessori way of schooling has a student centered approach to learning with many progressive practices and activities. It is a method that emphasizes on the overall physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, and psychological development of the child in addition to academics. It provides a unique alternative to mainstream schooling.
What is Waldorf?
Waldorf schools are a type of alternative schools that are based on an anthroposophical view and understanding of the human being as a body, soul and the spirit. The focus of a Waldorf teacher is the development of that essence in every person that is not dependent of the external appearance. Thus, a Waldorf school cultivates and works in support of the little child’s deep, inborn natural beliefs, attitudes, trust, and their basic reactions for the world that they live in.
Similarities between Montessori and Waldorf Schools
- Decentralized Learning
It is very rare that whole class lectures are given in Montessori or Waldorf schools, instead they believe in decentralized learning methods and the children are free to move around in the class, work independently or in groups and complete their tasks. They are free to pursue their interests and do things on their own at a comfortable pace.
- Holistic Education
Both the types of schools have similar approach towards education and they both are student centric. They believe in a holistic approach of learning and aim to educate the whole child physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. They give a lot of importance to learning practical skills, developing the right mannerisms and character traits, instilling the core values, and beliefs.
- Limited Technology
When it comes to technology, both the Montessori schools as well as Waldorf schools limit the use of technology and they instead concentrate more on self-awareness and self-learning concepts.
- Flexible Curriculum
Waldorf and Montessori methods of learning have a very flexible curriculum. They have a made-to-order curriculum and students can choose their own tasks and activities along with some guidance from their teacher. They can also work on their own pace.
- Concrete Learning
Montessori and Waldorf schools, which are a type of alternative schools, believe in concrete learning. The kids have a lot of experience with regard to concept learning and they learn practice skills.
Differences between Montessori and Waldorf School teaching
Montessori – when it comes to academics, Montessori schools introduce math and language when the child shows readiness between the age of 3 and 4 years.
Waldorf – in these schools academics are seen as a necessary but not necessarily introduced at such an early age. They are introduced when the kids are around 7 years of age.
- Reality and Imagination
Montessori – in this type of school the children are grounded to reality until they are able to distinguish what is real and what is fantasy.
Waldorf – in Waldorf schools, fantasy, imagination, and play are a part of curriculum and they are assessed timely.
- Age Groups
Montessori – these school types have a classroom with mixed age group. There are usually 3-year age groups in preschool and elementary schools. This can include toddler classes, primary children classes, and then elementary classes.
Waldorf – when it comes to Waldorf teaching style the classrooms contain groups of same age children. The kids are allowed to go around and do activities in groups or individually at their own pace.
- Real and Make believe
Montessori – Montessori schools believe that children prefer the chance to do real work like cooking, cleaning, sharing, caring for each other, caring and learning from the nature and environment.
Waldorf – In Waldorf type of schooling, the early learning focuses on fairies, imagination, make-believe, arts, and music. Here, acts and play are viewed as a work of a child and it is an integral part of how a teacher works along with the child.
- Leads Lessons
Montessori – Montessori schools allow the children to choose their work and they complete it with teacher’s guidance and support whenever it is necessary.
Waldorf – Waldorf type of teaching is different and the lessons are always teacher directed.
Despite all the differences, both these type of alternative schools value the child more than anything else. Both believe that education should develop morally responsible citizens who will have a sense of social responsibility. Both the types of teaching believe in imparting knowledge through a wide variety of ways and they both have a strong connection with nature and environment. These schools are known to protecting the child from the stresses of modern life, misuse of technology, and other emotional imbalances.
Hence, it is very important for the parents to understand the methods of teaching in detail to decide what’s best for their little one.
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