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Since the Montessori is a very specific style, there is also a governing body for Montessori schools and educators through which they should have their certification. When considering putting your child in a Montessori classroom, be aware that the classroom is structured towards the individual child and their interests.

Ages & Stages: How Children Develop a Sense of Time

This means that the children in the classroom are given the autonomy to learn and use the material in the classroom independently. This may not be effective for all children, who may require more of a structured learning environment. Children will take a certain amount of time to plan out what they will do before acting upon it. This involves describing the materials they will use to other children they will be interacting with. At parent conferences, these anecdotes are shared with the parents to demonstrate learning is happening within these different categories.

High scope centres should be accredited through the high scope governing body much the same as Montessori schools, where they can label themselves as high scope yet not truly adhere to or be recognized as accredited. The learning is broken up into projects that are open-ended. Children are given certain concepts that they need to solve through research, questioning and experimentation. There is a strong focus on the arts, which is a vehicle to allow the child to express their thoughts and emotions through multiple mediums.

Reggio also looks to expose the children to nature, which means there is a lot of outdoor play in environments that promote the use using natural items from the environment to be incorporated into their play. In this educational method, children are exposed to a humanitarian, socially responsible and compassionate mode of approaching the world. Typically the educator that works with one group of children will be with that same group as they get older and go from one grade to the next.

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These schools are also zero technology in the classroom and exposure for the children. This methodology does however, only focuses on reading when the child reaches the age of seven, with emphasis on storytelling and learning through play. Part of the Waldorf teacher training is learning about anthroposophy, developed by Rudolf Steiner.

Although not directly taught to the children, this spiritual philosophy does diffuse to some extent into the daily interactions. Give the variety of approaches to early childhood education, it begs the question: which one is the best? Or, more appropriately, does one method hold sway over another? The short, and perhaps frustrating, answer is: it depends. Some programs prefer a traditional approach, adhering to a pure curriculum.

That said, it is important to understand that methods and pedagogies are frameworks that can inspire practice rather than cut and dry rubrics. Imagine a curriculum built from a combination of the different methods that allows teachers to strike a balance between instructional teaching and constructive learning. Taking the thought experiment further, one could technically draw on Reggio for its community and documentation; Montessori for its independent self-directed studies; Waldorf for its integration of the arts and social consciousness and lastly; High Scope for its invaluable three-step process to ensure purposeful, planned and reflected learning processes.

Ultimately, the choice of curriculum boils down to the mission of a center. Is the goal to foster community, or to bring structure and process, or to bring children back to nature, or something entirely new? These are the questions that will help curate a curriculum.

I hope that this article has provided insight and inspired questions! This article was originally published on HiMama.

Read the original article. A unique book for the Australian context. Buy your copy here. A very interesting retrospective Steven. I have the privilege of teaching the history of early childhood to Australian student. I believe that the context and location have a very strong influence on how we perceive these influences. You have prompted me to consider sharing what I have researched.

We totally agree that context has a strong influence on how we construct our paradigms. If you do decide to share your research, please do keep us in the loop. We put out articles weekly on our blog www. It would be lovely if you subscribed. Hi Steven, thank you for your post and it is always positive to see people advocating for the importance of History of Early Childhood Education. Just an additional comment that the roots of EC started long before Froebel — ancient times with Aristotle arguing for the significance of educating children from their early years.

Thank you for your article which is both interesting and informative. The Montessori approach is so much more than what you have included in your article. I see in the Montessori educational approach many of the aspects you have included as specific to other ECD approaches. I believe a pure Steiner approach is very beneficial to disadvantaged at risk children and has been the only method I found effective in working with traumatised children who were under child protection.

The rhythms of the day eg. Breathing out and breathing in activities, singing in the day, music circle times and storytelling, and baking bread was very therapeutic.


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I truly love the notion of blending. She was a British educator and contemporary of Montessori and Steiner. Her philosophy of education has spread through the U. I wonder which resources the author drew on to compile his summary of the educational project of Reggio Emilia? I am sure that Reggio Children in Reggio Emilia would not support this summary. Very very interesting and informative article.

I feel though striking a balance between different approaches is hard but definitely will helps in the overall development of a child. An interesting compilation. A note on the Montessori approach, which is actually a philosophy of life: Maria Montessori herself said she never set out to develop a method. She merely used scientific methodology to prepare the environment so that children could develop optimally.

Sadly, this is often misunderstood as so many people only focus on the materials Dr Montessori developed. Great article to prompt some critical reflection on personal practice. I think what is missing is to highlight that all those approaches have been developed in different contexts and time periods to what we experience. Toddlers and 2-year-olds have all the time in the world.

Adults never have enough.

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Understanding the “Why”: How Research is Improving Early Childhood Education

Respect the toddler's position, even though it is unrealistic. The young child's drive to learn is strong and urgent. When you must interrupt a child's activities, give him time to adjust to the idea. Adults tend to try and stick to the clock. We try to keep toddlers "on time. Oh so very excited, 4-year-old Sapphire yells to her teacher: "Today is my special day! It's my birthday! We'll eat my beautiful icing cupcakes at snack time, right after group time. You know, my Nana's birthday comes after mine.

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Next week we'll drive to her house for her party. For egocentric preschoolers like Sapphire, the present-where she is right now in time-is very important to her. Three- and 4-year-olds need to have lots of meaningful experiences with time in a personal sense bedtime, storytime to gain a clearer understanding of temporal ideas. For them, time concepts begin to form around events like Sapphire's birthday celebration or washing their hands before lunch. Following and being involved with a familiar sequence of routines and schedules enhances their time awareness of the present, past, and future.

Preschoolers also need to build on these experiences, because time is such an abstract concept for young children. For them, it is rather intangible.

Ages & Stages: How Children Develop a Sense of Time | Scholastic

For example, Sapphire can observe the symbols of the passage of time her beautiful cupcakes with birthday candles, which represent that a whole year has gone by and she is now a year older , but the actual time is invisible to her. Threes and fours feel secure when they follow the same time schedules daily-get dressed, eat breakfast, ride to school, participate in group time, and engage in free playtime.

It is possible for adults to change the length of time of their activities.


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However, it becomes very confusing for young children if the order of events is changed. When 4-year-old Jake asks, "When do we play outside? Before and after are time concepts understood by preschoolers. For instance, Sapphire knows that group time occurs before snack time. She is also aware that her Nana's birthday comes the week after hers. Her teacher finds it helpful to review the day's events on an experience chart. This reinforces for children timely events, such as how they painted a mural after they went on their walk.

When Sapphire announces she will go to visit her Nana next week to celebrate her birthday, she indicates that she can anticipate an event in the future and plan for it.