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DIFFERENCES

Curriculum

WALDORF: Academic subjects are kept from children in Waldorf schools until a much later age than Montessori. They are thought to be, as in traditional schools, something necessary but not especially enjoyable, and best put off as long as possible. The day is filled with make-believe, fairies, art, music and generally the arts, putting off reading, writing and math until age seven or so.


MONTESSORI: Dr. Montessori on the other hand, filled her first school of 3-6-year-olds with dolls and other traditional make-believe toys but found that when children were given the opportunity to do real work such as cooking, cleaning, caring for themselves, each other, and the environment, they completely lost interest in make-believe and preferred real work.

She later, at the request of parents who were so impressed with the new cleanliness, happiness, and good manners of these slum children, invented manipulative language, math, and other academically-oriented materials and studied the children's response. Academic lessons were, and are now, never required or forced, but offered to and enjoyed by the children.

 

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MONTESSORI and WALDORF SCHOOLS

 

SIMILARITIES

  • Montessori and Waldorf are the fastest growing educational systems in the world today.

     

  • Both are based on many years of experience, with all kinds of children, the world over.

     

  • Both have great respect for the child as an individual, spiritual, creative being.

     

  • Both believe in protecting the child from the stresses of modern life, overuse or misuse of technology such as television and computers.

     

  • Both emphasize the education of the whole child, spiritual, mental, physical, psychological, over any particular academic curriculum.

     

  • Both stress the importance of the natural environment, absence of plastic, keeping in touch with nature and natural materials.

     

  • Both systems base their education on the needs of the child, believing that this will lead to meeting the needs of society as a whole. Incidentally, both Montessori and Waldorf schools were shut down by the Nazi regime during W.W.II because they refused to teach the ideology of the state.

     

  • Both schools provide a rich variety of art, music, dance, and theater at all ages