I would start with these articles:
Different Approaches to Teaching: Comparing Three Preschool Programshttp://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/ea...?ArticleID=367
"Fine designs" from Italy: Montessori education and the Reggio Emilia approachhttp://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...01/ai_n9224558
Three Approaches from Europe:
Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emiliahttp://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v4n1/edwards.html
For me, the attractions of Reggio are: Constructivist approach (wherein children help to construct their own learning via imagination and hands-on application), inquiry-based learning (encouraging children to explore their own questions and answers, without the teacher's interference), parent-teacher collaboration (parents are deeply involved and welcomed in classroom); and an emphasis upon nature, beauty, and a pleasing, harmonious environment.
The attractions of Montessori are: Focus on helping children to be independently successful; following their natural interests; inherent respectful, gentle discipline written into Montessori's pedagogical works; multi-age classrooms; an acknowledgement of all children's abilities and no "dumbing down" or saying that children cannot do x or y; directress/teacher's responsibility as role model; peer-to-peer teaching; also a beautiful environment and works.
What did not work for us in Montessori: Some of the self-correcting work that is intended to be used in one way only was not so fun for her; repeating work was also not interesting; discouragement of fantasy play; lack of unstructured, outside time; focus on fact acquisition rather than questions.
I think we will probably try Reggio the next time around, and there will be things that don't work for us there either. No pedagogy or school is perfect in any sense, and so finding what works is a good start.