Exactly what is the difference between REGGIO EMILIA and MONTESSORI?

Montessori is a new buzz word in education in Vietnam. Would you be surprised to hear that almost half of parents who enroll their child in a Montessori school in Vietnam do not know anything about the Montessori method? For parents who are curious  about the difference in these two methods, we have put together the  following article which comes from “Innovations In Early Education.

  • MONTESSORI has a pre-determined curriculum and materials set up by the teacher, with the information flowing from the teacher to the children; hypotheses are adult established; the emphasis is of a vertical nature.
  • REGGIO-inspired learning is determined by the children and teachers in collaboration, in a co-learning context with the ideas flowing between children and teachers; an expressive approach; problem solving and hypotheses developed within the triangle of child-teacher-parent interaction; the emphasis is horizontal.
  • MONTESSORI teachers observe like scientists, carefully recording the work and progress of the child. These observations are intended to lead the teacher to understand what lessons or materials to present next.
  • Reggio’s documentation is a way of recording not only the work but the words of the child. Using everything from pencil and paper to audio and video equipment, Reggio teachers transcribe the words and interpret the work of the child, documenting both academic and social progress.
  • In contrast, where the observations done by MONTESSORI teachers are considered private, Reggio documentation is often carefully displayed for the community to view.
  • MONTESSORI classroom walls are traditionally bare and visually quiet to focus the children’s attention on the learning materials on the shelves.
  • REGGIO EMILIA classroom walls are filled with documents of the children’s explorations and experiences-photos, conversations and visual expressions; the walls of the environment are used as a tool of reflection and revisiting by the children, parents and teachers.
  • The visual arts of clay, paint, collage, drawing, wire and the verbal arts of music, dance, movement, drama are not a priority in the MONTESSORI classroom.
  • In REGGIO, these models of expression are seen as languages of the child – a hundred, thousand languages, giving children a vehicle for expression and development.