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Froebel and Montessori's Methods of Early Childhood Education

Updated on April 11, 2016
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge holds an EdS in Curriculum and Instruction, an MS in Elementary Education, and a BA in History. She also homeschools her children.

Froebel and Montessori had different philosophies of teaching, however their methods often overlapped.
Froebel and Montessori had different philosophies of teaching, however their methods often overlapped. | Source

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).

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.


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    • Diane Lockridge profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Lockridge 

      8 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Sushma, this hub was actually part of an assignment I turned in for a doctorate level course I took last year. Sadly, I didn't keep the textbook.

    • Sushma Webber profile image

      Sushma Webber 

      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Diane, Thanks for your comment on my hub and sharing about your article on the Froebel and Montessori Methods. Would it be possible to expand on the topic and add a few more details? I too am interested in education and will look forward to your hubs on the history of education.

    • profile image

      bagun omolola 

      8 years ago

      very interesting

    • profile image

      sarita belbase 

      8 years ago

      thanks for that i really respect of this is really intresting

    • Diane Lockridge profile imageAUTHOR

      Diane Lockridge 

      9 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks, Jay. This was part of an assignment for a doctoral course, I'm writing more on the history of education, so check ou my hub for more interesting (and relevant) stuff.

    • Jay Louidor profile image

      Jay Louidor 

      9 years ago from FL

      Very interesting information. Really enjoyed your hub. Glad you decided to write it.


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