Compare and Contrast Essay on Educational Programs for Young Children

Published: 2021-07-14
554 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Middlebury College
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There exist various educational programs and philosophies around the world, and most, if not all, are meant to promote childrens growth, both academically and socially. These programs are developed from a variety of perspectives and mainly focus on several aspects of childrens cognitive, intellectual and social development. Some of these programs include; the Reggio Emilia, the Waldorf-Steiner, and the Montessori programs. They all make an approach towards early childhood education with a developmental perspective, making sure they stress on the advantages, or rather, the importance of self-directed exploration and play.

The Montessori program widely used today in many places around the world, it is child-centered and mainly operates on certain defining principles. The essential goal of this program is to help in developing a childs social, emotional, physical and cognitive abilities. In other words, the teacher has the responsibility to explore and realize every childs potential, rather than molding them into what they like. Some of its hallmarks include; mixed age grouping where children of various age groups are allowed to work together, focus on critical or sensitive periods where childrens sensitive periods are marked before they are given instructions and prepared environment which includes developmentally appropriate material (Kim, 2013).

The Reggio Emilia method, on the other hand, creates an atmosphere that encourages and supports early childhood development and by establishing a basis for natural child development. Some of its principal features include; using a multisensory approach to teach children (an environment that allows touching, moving, seeing, listening and speaking), allows children to express themselves in different ways and lastly, allows children to have a little bit of control over their learning. In addition to these, instructors who employ this program allow children to display their understanding through various means (Kim, THE REGGIO EMILIA METHOD, 2013).

Another approach that is widely used is the Waldorf Steiner method, which mainly bases on the understanding of a childs development. The method was established by people who believed that using play was the best way to teach young children. This approach showed compassion, respect, cooperation, and social responsibilityCITATION Kim132 \l 1033 (Kim, Waldorf Steiner Method, 2013). It also develops a childs creative skills and discourages them from embracing too much technology at young ages.

The three approaches, however, have some similarities, for instance, they all focus on developing a childs social, intellectual and cognitive skills. All of which are essential in helping young children become sharp and responsible adults. They all also have a similar feature, which is promoting relationships and unity with other young children as well as adults. They teach them how to work together and respect each other while at it. Another notable feature is that the three methods all prepare the children for the real world in and after school where they will possibly meet and mingle with other people of different dispositions and ages. Their sense of self-discipline, analytical thinking and independence also developed. Parents or guardians should therefore search for the best preschool for their children by considering the schools philosophy and matching it with their childrens characters and abilities.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Kim, J. (2013, November 3). Comparison among Froebel, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf-Steiner Methods Part 1. Spielgaben.

Kim, J. (2013, November 3). Comparison among Froebel, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf-Steiner Methods Part 1. Spielgaben.

Kim, J. (2013, November 3). Comparison among Froebel, Montessori, Reggio Emilia and Waldorf-Steiner Methods Part 1. Spielgaben.


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