Montessori preschools are child-focused. They put children front and centre.
On the Montessori approach, children have a unique learning path. This means that they should be given an opportunity to learn in their own way. They often choose their own tasks and work at their own pace.
In preschool (Montessori), kids sometimes work by themselves. Often, though, they work in groups. They work with other kids, and teachers only rarely intervene.
Reggio preschools provide a supportive and caring learning environment. They have multi-age classrooms, in which children work and interact together. This makes for a dynamic setting.
Children have lots of freedom. Children can choose their own activities and tasks, based on their interests. They also pursue projects based on their unique passions, which they select with help from the teachers. This is referred to as a "co-constructed curriculum."
In Reggio preschools, like all Reggio schools, kids are encouraged to use many modes of expression and different kinds of media, such as painting, sculpting, and drama. This promotes open communication and creativity.
Reggio teachers document children's progress throughout the year. They also post their work all over the classroom, so that both kids and parents can see student progress.
To learn more about the similarities and differences between various types of preschools, read our comparison guides. In separate articles, we compare Montessori to Waldorf, Waldorf to Reggio Emilia, academic to play-based, Montessori to play-based, and Montessori to academic preschools. If you want to compare specific schools one-to-one, visit our compare hub.
To learn about the similarities and differences between different types of schools in general (as opposed to preschools), read comparison guides. In separate articles, we compare Montessori to Waldorf, Waldorf to Reggio Emilia, and Montessori to Reggio Emilia schools.
Preschool questions (read our in-depth answers)
“Montessori is an integrated approach whose aim is to fulfill the needs of the whole child. Reggio is a project-based program, where the lessons are based on the interests of children.” Marcel Pereira, director of Century Private School, a Montessori school in Richmond Hill, Ontario
Many say that if school were more like camp, kids would do better. At Lakefield College School, that camp-like feel has been achieved. Outdoor education is a part of every school day and lesson… and the results are outstanding. [Read more]