Bridgette Fincher- Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership. 2006

 

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 Comparing Maria Montessori to Reggio Emilia

Having just finished 100 Languages, I continue to muse how the Reggio Emilia philosophy  compares to the Americanized Montessori (AMI) base that I had been trained in. I am posting both in BB and my blog with this one it will be something I will continue to ponder. Oddly, on the foundational levels, they are surprisingly similar. It is in the execution where differences surface. Both are fully child centered and work to foster self-awareness and self-sufficiency as the children understand how they function as working members of a greater society. Parents are actively involved in each methodology. Both are outgrowths of social upheaval…poverty and neglect for the AMI and war and religious rigidity for RE. Interestingly, Jung served as a theorist both groups used to understand how children see their world and how teachers should perceive these reactions. However, AMI focuses on the perfection of detail, of practicing and practicing a process until the child finds a level of what he or she considers  to be expert− at that point in time. The learning is mostly individual although children often engage with each other in projects. There is a sense of order and purpose in what is happening. This is mirrored in Reggio Emilia except that the intensity and focus is communal and stems from the children. Dialoging in RE is imperative, in AMI it is action that is primary. I just found it fascinating that the central premise of raising strong and vibrant humans could have such different permeations. I am looking forward to seeing the reflections others have on the book…for myself, both methods called to the spiritual/emotional beliefs are the art and heart in the science of what we do.  

Author: Peauroi, Cheryl <cheryl.peauroi@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

Knowing very little of AMI, I was wondering how it compares with RE and if anyone was going to bring it up. It seems, in both cases, the focus is on the rights of the child.

 

 

Date: 11-27-2005 15:53

Author: Fincher, Bridgette <bridgette.fincher@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Maria Montessori Light Reading...for Comparison's Sake

There are a couple of different societies and acronyms that are out there. AMI  stands for the Association Montessori International (www.montessori-ami.org )that dear old Maria started way back when. In the 1960s, a newer adaptation of the original was started called the American Montessori Society (www.amshq.org/society_vision.htm ). Both official forms, and a myriad of bastardized so called schools which only have the materials and no officially trained staff, exist here in the States. Found this down and dirty but accurate and easy to read site that explains the philosophy of the second form. Hopefully, it will make sense. http://www.a-childs-place.com/montessorimethodhistory.html 

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-27-2005 17:34

Author: Stager, Gary S <gstager@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

A major difference is that the Reggio folks are adamant in their desire to state unequivocally that their methodologies cannot and should not be copied or shrink-wrapped since their "approach" is based on the community.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-28-2005 19:54

Author: Hines, Isabel <isabel.hines@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

I'm glad you brought this up because I was thinking of the same thing. I had to study the Montessori system as part of one of my Ed classes in college, but that was so long ago that I went back and researched the Montessori system again as I was reading the book. They are amazingly similar, and I was wondering if it was a cultural thing.

Also, even though they tried to explain it away at the end of the book, I still wonder why in 30 years there hasn't been a follow up of this children to see if the system has really make a difference in their approach to learning and life in general.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-28-2005 23:40

Author: Stager, Gary S <gstager@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

Isabel,

I don't understand your last question.Reggio has 40 years of documentation archived and available to the public. What sort of follow-up should be done? Why? Whose responsibility is it?

 

     

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 19:30

Author: Hines, Isabel <isabel.hines@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

Gary,

I don't see documentation on what happens to the children once they leave Reggio Emilia and enter elementary school. How do they approach learning then?

 

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 06:04

Author: Rivers, Pamela <pamela.rivers@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

Isabel,

Do you mean like following up with students as they move through school and into adulthood?  How would one do that?  You mean just asking the kids how they approach, looking at grades, test scores? 

I wonder if it isn't just enough that during these years these kids are having this amazing experience.  I believe that this kind of schooling with be beneficial for these kids all through their lives, but I wonder if it's necessary to prove that these students do better on tests or are better problem solvers or work better with others.  Maybe just being at Reggio Emilia during these 3 years is enough...

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 08:13

Author: Chon, Christine <christine.chon@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

The children were in that system for only 3 years of what we would call preschool in the states. Do you think that is enough for them to have formulated a different attitude towards school and learning?

It might have been different if they continued with the Reggio Emilia approach for the reminder of their formal schooling but that is not the case. If someone did a follow up on the students, what do you expect to see?

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 12:51

Author: Stager, Gary S <gstager@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia

The "Reggio Approach" ends at school age in Italy due to politics, funding and governance, not because the ideas lack merit.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 17:13

Author: Fincher, Bridgette <bridgette.fincher@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

Just as an aside, Montessori does continue right up into the high school level here in the States. Now, granted, there are not a ton of schools but they do exist following the inquiry and generative curriculum model. Just a note of support of  Isabel’s comment, one of the things that I was struck by in the book was the following quote found on page 278.  American educators have been perplexed at the lack of empirically derived data with which to validate Reggio Emilia’s practices, and yet Reggio Emilian are persistent in their refusal to participate in this positivist tradition that has played such a strong role in determining U.S. educational policies and practices. The author goes on to explain the use of antidotal qualitative research as their methods of choice. What I am hearing here are several layers of cultural overlayeducational, philosophical and geopolitical. Keeping the whole cultural dynamic in sight seems important. 

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 19:36

Author: Hines, Isabel <isabel.hines@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

I agree with Bridgette. I was struck by the same quote, hence my question about what happens to the children once they enter elementary school. I can't believe that no follow up has been done in 30 years. I am extremely curious to find out how do these children react to a totally different learning environment. Even the question directed to a parent who was a former student did not get a satisfactory answer.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-29-2005 22:37

Author: Rivers, Pamela <pamela.rivers@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

What kind of evidence would they use to show how these students are doing?  I wonder if the hesitancy to follow-up has to do with the American expectations of success, or the measures of success?  I know we're not the only country that uses tests as a measure of learning, but we seem to be obsessed with it as of late, and I don't think that's improving our educational system.  I can understand how Reggio Emilia might shy away from that.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-30-2005 00:10

Author: Stager, Gary S <gstager@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

My daughter attended a Reggio school in Los Angeles that went to age 13.

Lots of the people who request data are disingenuous. Could you "really" persuade them or are you on a wild goose chase

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-30-2005 20:00

Author: Hines, Isabel <isabel.hines@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

I would still like to know how the children feel when they attend elementary school, and how their approach to problems in general has been shaped by their Reggio experience. I think it would be very interesting to find out.

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 11-30-2005 23:34

Author: Karjala, Julie <julie.karjala@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

In our TI tonight, we discussed some main ideas.  One topic was how the RE approach applied to high school.  I can see how several ideas apply to high school, cultural, student centered, project approach (inquiry based learning-especially in the science classroom)...one of my struggles as a high school chemistry teacher is how to accomplish a more student centered environment in such a structured curriculum?

 

 

Forum: The Final Stretch

Date: 12-05-2005 19:27

Author: Rivers, Pamela <pamela.rivers@pepperdine.edu>

Subject Re: Ummmm, Seems It is A Cultural Qualitative Vs Quantitative Issue

I had this same question and just got to doing some online research.  I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but did  find a few links that could be helpful.  This one is great:  http://www.reggioalliance.org/index.php  This is the north american Reggio Alliance.  They do have links to some schools in the US, but I didn't see any in CA.  I also saw that they have conferences for educators at Reggio Emilia schools in Italy.  There's one coming up in February. 

I haven't explored this link as much, but could have some valuable info.  http://www.latelier.org/usefullinks/

 

     

 

   

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