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Reggio vs. Montessori

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
(Sorry if this has been done before. I searched, but didn't find something quite like this.)

Anyone familiar with both pedagogies want to tell me what you view as the pros and cons of each, and how they compare? Both are options in my area for preschool, so I'm just trying to get a feel for what these might be like.

I know in the end I'll base my decision on the particular school and teachers, but I'm interested in discussing this from a strictly pedagogical standpoint. Thanks!
post #2 of 13
Is it too late? I do have some thoughts, and can post later today or tomorrow.
post #3 of 13
FSM - please post. I've been watching this thread, too. TIA!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Please do!
post #5 of 13
I would start with these articles:

Different Approaches to Teaching: Comparing Three Preschool Programs
http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/ea...?ArticleID=367

"Fine designs" from Italy: Montessori education and the Reggio Emilia approach
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...01/ai_n9224558

Three Approaches from Europe:
Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia
http://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.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links! I'm drawn more to the Reggio philosophy myself. I'm going to look at both schools tomorrow, so we'll see which one we like better in terms of teachers and policies.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
I went to visit both schools, and there were positives to both. So, now, all I can say is... I need to set up longer observation times at each! I also need to observe our local coop preschool.

Surprisingly, although I like the RE philosophy more, I was more drawn to the teacher at the M school.

I still have no idea what we're going to do.
post #8 of 13
I would definitely follow your heart regarding the teacher. No matter how great the philosophy, the teacher's implementation is probably THE most important aspect of a child's experience. In my opinion.
post #9 of 13
this should be a sticky!
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
I would definitely follow your heart regarding the teacher. No matter how great the philosophy, the teacher's implementation is probably THE most important aspect of a child's experience. In my opinion.
I agree!
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, after reading a lot more extensively about Montessori (I loved the book, Montessori: The Research behind the Genius by Lynn Lillard) and visiting both public Montessori schools in our area, I think I'm a die-hard Montessori convert.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Well, after reading a lot more extensively about Montessori (I loved the book, Montessori: The Research behind the Genius by Lynn Lillard) and visiting both public Montessori schools in our area, I think I'm a die-hard Montessori convert.
Honeybee -- what was it that made you "convert?" I'm curious.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
These are in no particular order.

1) The teachers at the school, and the parents I've talked to... it seems like a close-knit, warm school community.

2) The classroom: Peaceful, beautiful, orderly. Would make a nice change for ds from our messy and disorganized house.

3) Practical life skills. I tried showing ds how to tie his shoes, and I am totally clueless about how to go about this. :

4) The materials. Wow. I wish everyone could learn reading and math this way. I LOVE the math materials.

5) Multi-age class.

6) Self-direction in the classroom. Watching kids be focused and concentrating on a task for a long period of time, of their own volition, was pretty amazing.

There's more, but I have to go!
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