Froebel and Montessori's Methods of Early Childhood Education
A Comparison and Contrast of Froebelian & Montesssorian Methods of Early Childhood Education
The Froebelian and Montessori methods had three things in common with each other. Both methods emphasized the need for children to expend their energy. Both methods understood the need for a “prepared” educational environment. Moreover, both methods and had a worldwide impact in education (Gutek, 1995, p. 277-278). Similar to other progressive education movements, both Froebel and Montessori wanted to provide “real-life situations in which children can formulate and test their own hypothesis in solving problems” (p. 276).
Despite their similarities, the two methods had some major differences in the way they approached the educational setting and how to teach children. For example, while both Froebelian and Montessori theories agreed that there should be a structure, Froebelians considered the Montessori method too structured and rigid because it restricted the child’s freedom to experiment (Gutek, p. 273). Froebelians also criticized the Montessori method for not encouraging enough socialization between the students (p. 275).
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Conversely, the Montessori camp believed that the Froebelian method over sentimentalized education in young children and relied too heavily on myths, fables and stories. Instead of stories, Montessori’s methods used science to spark interest and imagination in students (Gutek, p. 276). Montessori further believed that the romantic philosophy of education often failed to “cultivate the child’s possibilities for skill mastery and intellectual achievement” (p. 275).
Gutek, Gerald L. (1995). A history of the western educational experience. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.