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Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio

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Laura Leroy

on 11 February 2014

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Transcript of Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio

Three Approaches from Europe: Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio Emilia
by Carolyn Pope Edwards
Reggio Emilia
Child Development Theory and Curriculum
Reggio Emilia
Roles of the Teacher
Reggio Emilia
Assessment, Evaluation and Research
What do you already know about these three models of education?
- European models
- explicit in turning towards peace and reconstruction
- holistic models- developing whole child
- communities constantly reassess their practice
-founded by Rudolf Steiner in 1919 (post WWI Germany)
- mission to educate human beings able to create a just and peaceful society
- coeducational, open to all children, comprehensive (PreK-HS), independent

- today, more than 800 Waldorf schools in 40 countries, all run independently
- Maria Montessori- methods for working with children with disabilities living in poverty (Rome)
- Montessori left Fascist Italy and her ideas spread, esp. in Europe and India

-since 1950's Montessori schools have spread in US- now more than 5000 -only 20% affiliated with accrediting org.
- many programs now in public school system, K-12
- northern Italy- educators, parents and children reconstructing society after WWII
- family centred, serving infants and preschool only- priority given to children with special needs
- evolved from parent cooperative to city run system

- not a formal model like others, but constantly evolving, starting with a strong image of the child
How do these models view childhood and children? What beliefs about childhood and children would educators working in these models hold?
All 3 approaches view children as active authors of their own development.
- belief in unity of spirit, soul, and body...good education restores balance between thinking, willing, and feeling.
- 3 cycles of 7 year stages
- focus on oral language and memory
- learning through
- uninterrupted imaginary play for young children seen as vital
- 7-14 y.o. students stay with same group- explore world through 'feeling intelligence'
- 14+ focus on ethics, social responsibility and mastering complex subject matter
-belief in children's natural intelligence, involving from the start rational, empirical and spiritual aspects
- series of 6 year periods of development
- multi-age classrooms to promote continuity and close relations
- children allowed to work without interruption in a carefully prepared environment that helps child choose well
- teacher presents lessons when child/group is ready
- individualized curriculum but with scope and sequence and clearcut domains ( birth-18 y.o.)
-poweful image of child- social from birth, intelligent and curious
- education based on relationships- social constructivism
- children seen as producers of culture
- hundred languages- multimodal expression
- teachers follow children's interests, foster emergent literacy through documentation
- long term projects
- focus only on preschool children
- nurturers, partners and guides to children
- use environment as a pedagogical tool
- parents as partners
- teacher plays a performance role- leads/models many whole group activities
- didactic moral leader who creates a feeling of harmony within the classroom
- teacher's role is one of unobtrusive director as children engage in self-directed activity
- provides an environment of productive calm
- children are able to progress at their own pace and rhythm
- teacher plays a role of artful balancing between engagement and attention
- teachers observe and listen closely to students, document carefully, reflect with other adults to serve as resources and guides to children
- classroom teachers work in pairs
- atelerista- additional teacher trained in visual arts- encourage expression through different media and symbol systems
- teachers organize environments rich in possibilities and provocations
- not assessed by traditional tests/grades- much more descriptive or shown in a culminating performance
- may use documentation such as portfolios
- process research important to guiding teachers' decisions about where to go next with students (formative assessment)
- very little child outcome research has been done- some has been on Montessori
How might the role of the teacher be construed differently in these models than in many 'regular' educational settings?
Which aspects of these models could be adopted by 'regular' educational settings to lead to better practice?

Which aspects would require adaptation to function in a 'regular' educational setting?

What would be challenging?
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