Montessori, Reggio Emilia and High /Scope are approaches used in early childhood education. They are some of the best approaches known so far. The learners needs are properly considered, and environmental awareness is emphasized. Independence of the child is also put into consideration. A child’s independence is nurtured, and is allowed to work as a researcher. In these approaches the teachers become facilitators, partnerand co-learners (Curtis &Ohagan, 2001).
Montessori is an approach in early childhood education, which was started by Dr.Maria Montessori in 1900s. She was an Italian physician and educator. It is an approach whose methods are both of educational as well as methodology philosophy. It involves schools which are preschools or elementary schools in level. It begins with infants and ends at 12th grade. It also lays emphasis on child’s independence and child’s initiative. Two trained teachers are assigned each classroom (Abbot & Maylett, 1999).
In Reggio Emilia it refers to the education based on relationships. It was started in 1963 in Reggio Emilia, Italy. One of its educational philosophies is from which a kid derives guidance as well as inspiration in choosing learning materials and toys. It was first started by people who decided to build their children’s future after or in the past World War II, by selling the old army tanks and used the money to build pre schools. It is an approach which puts children first and the environment should beautifully designed, inspiring and peaceful. It tries to act as a teacher in its self to children and family (Morgan, 1999).
The philosophy of this Reggio Emilia focuses on the child as a leader. The pioneers of this approach tried as much as possible to put themselves in the shoes of the children. It lays a strong emphasis on children’s documentation as well as analysis of the children, as well as their conversation with friends, schoolmates and teachers.
High/ scope approach was started in United States in 1960s. It is a method of early childhood education which is about running of nursery schools or kindergarten. It is common in U.S and other countries. In this approach children are involved actively in their own learning. The teachers in this case see themselves as partners or facilitators than supervisors or managers. It is an approach which involves water play, sand play, writing, reading, role play e.t.c. Normally children play in small groups
One of the attributes which I identify is that of laying an emphasis on the child’s independence. Another one is that of involving or taking a child as a researcher. I believe those two attributes would be useful for me to incorporate in my teachings and learning contexts. In Montessori they lay emphasis on a child’s independence. In Reggio Emilia they take a child as a researcher (Morgan, 1999).
In my classroom situation, I expect to let the children experiment for themselves, explore and reason out just as researchers do. On the side of the independence, I expect the children to work independently without any interference what so ever (Moon, Ben-peretz &Brown, 2000).
Independence as an attribute will in the first place help the growing child to grow up into a responsible adult or person. A child becomes someone who easily works on his own, someone who knows what is expected of him or her. Such children through this attribute they grow up to know what is always expected of them. They in most cases become loving, responsive and responsible people. The environment becomes somewhere where the children cannot get lost since they have learnt to be independent all along. The teacher in this case becomes a facilitator into responsible parenthood (Morgan, 1999).
As an independent person, the child becomes a person of virtues. Someone who loves peace, does not associate with violence, someone with a reconstructive mind and natural intelligence. The child remains at peace with nature and God or rather spiritual matters. The child tends to have freedom of choice. In this case children become social beings as well as people who develop rationality in problem solving. They become co-operative in social relations, they become imaginative and lovers of beauty or aesthetic value. And they tend to have cultural knowledge which is complex.
A child becomes an explorer. There is a lot that exploration has done to humanity; as such the children in this case develop into useful beings to who help in the exploration of this vast and natural world. The child becomes curious, intelligent and full of wonder. A child who grows to know better child and deserves a better place on this planet. Each child becomes very useful member when they grow up in exploring and investigating. In this case the teacher only nurtures, becomes a partner and a guide to a child,. As such children tend to have ready solutions to problems even of their own making (Abbot &Maylett, 1999).
Another most important thing that a child acquires while being independent is self direction. The children also tend to get confidence and inner discipline. As such the children become able to function normally and live harmoniously with every one as well as their natural environment (Morgan, 1999).
The second attribute when the learner is taken as a researcher, it remains important because here the learner becomes a thinker. The learning tends to be a continuous thinking. The children tend to question anything they see; they hypothesize solutions, they predict outcomes, they experiment and reason over their own discoveries, as a result they expand their own thinking
These children who become thinkers, this becomes a strong and firm foundation for them to become philosophers like Socrates. The importance of philosophy in mankind is widely known and accepted; as such this becomes a very important beginning for them. The child tends to have strength, potential and competence. The child also through this attribute tends to make a lot of sense of the world around him.
This attribute also gives a child a room to become a better and reliable scientist in future. Today’s world is a world of science, science has done a lot that is beyond just mere talking, science rules the world, and so the children who pass through this attribute of Reggio Emilia will become very useful members in our society; and through the physical interaction with the environment, together with the mental interaction they manage to construct knowledge. Knowledge construction can not come easily to child unless he knows how to experiment and hypothesize (Morgan, 1999).
And through this attribute a child does not only become curious, creative, competent, powerful and of full potential, he also manages to realize his rights as well as other opportunities, which way be available. As such the instructor becomes a collaborator as well as a co- learner.
This attributes I recommend it for all children who have attained the school going age. It is very useful attribute and it can really do wonders for a young child. When the child grows up and is mature enough to know and understand the world around him he can do a lot both for himself and humanity as a whole.
As an attribute that make children think it not only helps them to become philosophers but helps them in their everyday life; philosophers are lovers of knowledge and so the children tend to become also lovers of knowledge and people who promote reaching culture (Curtis &Ohagan, 2001)
Another very important part of Reggio Emilia approach, especially this attribute where the leaner is taken as a researcher is one area of creativity. This attributes makes the children to be highly creative in their learning. It is very possible because teachers play a very important role of being an endless source of provocations as well as possibilities as such the learners see solutions to their problems and also their curiosity and awareness widen. The teachers also tend to provide related experiences as well as materials, which the children use in learning, and so this kind of learning does not become an ordinary kind of learning. In this attribute, the children’s emotional needs are also put into consideration.
It is therefore a better attribute in a flexible approach. The learner receives from the world so much that his presence is noticed and that he feels respected and valued. And the classroom atmosphere of joy as well as playfulness prevails in this attributes. A strong link is formed between teachers and the learners through time consciousness; about three hours are allocated for learners to be with their teachers throughout. Through this the children learn at an early stage in life how to mange their time properly. They develop early some sense for time management (Moon, Ben-peretz & Brown, 2000)
As they also incorporate their memories actively in learning the learner gains a lot by reaching his full potential in a way which could not be thought possible. The child becomes aware of himself as a whole person. An individual able to achieve, do things, reason out and participate actively in any activity given by all teachers is someone with a direction, as such the leaner becomes in a way fully in control of his own destiny (Abbot &Maylett, 1999).
Both of these attributes, the one of independence and taking a child as a researcher, have an excellent philosophy of idealism. There may be no perfect beings but some people are more “perfect” than others, and so the degree of perfection that any learner attains though these attributes far surpasses many other attributes in other approaches which are known already.
In these two attributes the leaner realizes very strongly about the kind of knowledge which is does not come from ones senses. They experience it, and learn it in a better way though these two attributes and so they are the two best for our children who learn through Montessori approach and Reggio Emilia approach.
In Montessori, there is a strong emphasis on the school environment, and so is in this best attribute of independence which I have selected, in this case This system does not deduce that a child already knows everything. It believes, in teaching and letting the leaner know what he does not know. And so the student grows knowing that these are other things to learn or know. The case is the same with the Reggio Emilia approach the two systems consider the learner as the most important person and so everything that is to be taught must also be important and useful to the learner even after school.
In both of these systems the teachers sweat and struggle to see into it that the learner becomes a better person in as much as possible, and so it should not matter to parents whether these systems are expensive or not. The parents should know that they pay for what is worth being paid for. (Morgan, 1999)
The two systems are obviously quite outstanding in their attributes and so they deserve to be emulated by all. They display some unique understandings and for sure I recommend them for any parent. Under the two approaches there is just a lot that has been taken care of. If there is any known safety of the lives of our young ones, then it is in the two attributes of Montessori and Reggio Emillia, which are discussed in this report (Morgan, 1999).
If only we can all assume that our children do not know everything, then we shall always have something to teach them. Just as the two systems assume and they are the best after comparing them with others.
Abbott, L and Maylett, H (1999); Early Education Transformed; Former press. London
Curtis, A and Ohagan, M 🙁 2001) Came and Education in Early Childhood: A Student Guide to Theory and practice. Rountledge Falmer. London and New York
Moon, B, Ben – peretz, M and Brown, S 🙁 2000): Routledge inert national Companion to Education. London and New York.
Morgan (1999); The Imagination of Early Childhood Education Bargin & Garvey; Westport London.
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