Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jennifer Bridgeman: Comparing Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia Learning Philosophies for Young Children

Brought to you as a public service by Quill.

As your child reaches pre-school and elementary school age, you may hear a lot of conflicting advice about public schooling versus alternative learning philosophies. While there isn’t necessarily one right school for every child, there are advantages and disadvantages to every learning approach. The infographic below, designed by Ghergich & Co. as a public service, covers three of the most widespread alternative learning philosophies: Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia. All three approaches meld academics with art, music, and outdoor play using their own unique teaching styles and methodologies. All three of these types of schools, which can be found nationwide, specialize in creativity, a balance of collaboration and independence, and leadership.

The Montessori approach has been around for over a century and can start at birth, even though most people rely on it for the early childhood learning years of age 2 to 6. Montessori’s guiding light is play—guided by teachers but paced by the children. Waldorf can also start at birth and also relies on play and routine; there’s no technology and no homework. Waldorf education becomes increasingly academic as it continues into middle school, high school and college. Reggio Emilia began with a focus on early childhood years and has expanded, with a core that’s focused on exploration and child origins.

This infographic is a handy guide to help  you make the best choice for your child’s early years.





Creative outdoor play is important for a child’s development [Waldorf School of Pittsburgh]

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