COMPARING PRESCHOOL PHILOSOPHIES: Waldorf – Montessori - Reggio Emilia Methods
Course Duration: 5 days
Course Fee: 400€
This course is a kind of teacher training course which aims to support pre-school staff to learn about the most prevalent preschool philosophies to help them create a more kids-centered environment at kindergartens or pre-schools. The key issues and concerns about the Early
Childhood and Care defined in 2020 ET will be identified and discussed.
In the frame of the course program, three philosophies are Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilio will be compared in detail and the best phases in each philosophy will be focused on.
This approach, developed by Maria Montessori in Rome in the early 1900s, is child-centered, with teachers serving as guides. In the Montessori school, the play is a child’s work. While there is a focus on academics, the distinguishing feature is that children learn at their own pace. That focus on letting children learn at their own pace also affects how classrooms are arranged, with children ages three, four, and five all being in the same room. This allows the older children to serve as role models for the younger ones and exposes children to different ages. Children generally have the same teacher for those three years, allowing close teacher-student relationships to develop. The mixed-age aspect also encourages older children to help younger children, which helps build their self-esteem.
If you find a Waldorf school, you can trust that it is true to the Waldorf philosophy, since each school and all of its teachers must be Waldorf certified. This play-based approach is characterized by a predictable structure, providing children with a dependable routine, such as certain days of the week for set activities like baking or gardening, as well as mixed-age classrooms with the same teacher for multiple years.
There is also an emphasis on cooperation, and the setting generally appears like a home—warm and friendly, with wooden toys and natural materials. What stands out about Waldorf is its stance against traditional grading systems and the exclusion of media in the curriculum. Waldorf does not include media (computers, videos, or electronics of any kind) and does not involve academics, which means no homework, tests, handouts, or even desks. Children are introduced to formal reading skills in the first grade. The programs are “all-weather”, and children spend a lot of time outdoors.
Reggio Emilia schools are known for a project-based approach, which many preschool programs have borrowed. In a project-based curriculum, lessons are based on the interest of the students. Reggio Emilia programs are also known for documenting what children do, taking photos, making videos, writing observations. Then children and teachers can review what they’ve done throughout the year.
In this approach, there is a belief that children have rights and should be given opportunities to develop their potential. Children are believed “knowledge bearers”, so they are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about everything they could meet or do during the day.
All the participants will
- Identify the key issues and concerns about Early Childhood Education and Care defined in 2020 ET,
- Understand the similarities and differences of these three philosophies in education,
- Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three philosophies,
- Define the role of teachers in three types of pre-schooling,
- Find out the ways of involving parents into the school system,
- Encourage children to be more independent and inclined towards self-learning,
- See the role of games and their plays in the three philosophies,
- Identify the different ways of self-expression in each methodology,
- Understand various assessment ways used in the schools using these philosophies,
- Value creativity and independence in the pre-school years,
- Have an idea about how to design a preschool environment depending on these philosophies in order to reach the children’s personal features and develop them.
Objectives of the course
- Getting familiar with programs used in pre-schools in Europe
- Focusing on three philosophies mainly used in pre-schools: Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilio
- Discussing strengths and weaknesses of philosophies
- Formulating a model classroom and defining the role of teacher depending on the key issues of Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilio philosophy
- Working on the assessment ways of the three
- Identifying similarities of three philosophy
- Letting children learn at their own pace
- Emphasizing cooperation
- Tending the interest of the students
- Focusing on practical and skills-based interactive learning
- Creating immediate feedbacks
- Designing hands-on activities and inspiring discussions on best practices
- Working in groups cooperatively
- Using Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilio philosophy
- Pre-school teachers, trainers, educators, school administrators, etc.
Before the course,
- A detailed pre-course questionnaire to indicate their level of experience, teaching backgrounds, and training will be completed by participants.
- They will also prepare a presentation to reflect their own teaching method.
- A course participation certificate will be given to all participants.
- A Europass Mobility Certificate will be given if the participant demands it, as well.
- 11.09.2023 > 15.09.2023