Essay on 20th Century Approaches in Early Childhood Education

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Did you know there are many kinds of programs and approaches used in early childhood education? The 20th century was the start of inclusive classrooms and about the idea of education for all. Education in the early preschool years boomed with early childhood development programs. While there are many popular approaches, I find that Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner have the reliable strait forward and captivating approaches to early childhood education.
Maria Montessori has an educational method that is in use today in public and private schools throughout the world. The basic goals of the Montessori Method are to develop the child’s independence and productivity as well as preserve the dignity of the child while focusing on the
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Children will stay with the class, and teacher, for the entire cycle, shaping a stable community and meaningful bonds ("Introduction to montessori," 2011). You won’t find the expected rows of school desks in these programs either. Children work at tables or on the floor, rolling out mats on which to work and define their work space. The classrooms are set up to have natural lighting, soft colors, and uncluttered spaces for activities that are focused and calm. More than 4,000 Montessori schools dot the American landscape, and thousands more can be found on 6 continents worldwide ("Introduction to montessori," 2011).
Rudolf Steiner developed the Waldorf education. This is the view in which the child develops through a number of basic stages as he/ she grows from childhood to adulthood. Waldorf education strives to develop in each child their innate talents and abilities through the use of curriculum which develops imagination and creativity ("Early child care," 2010). In the United States there are more than 160 schools across the continent, 250 early childhood centers. Within all these centers the approach to learning in early childhood is through imitation, imagination and example. The basic goals of Waldorf education are to build free, equal, and collaborative society. To develop free human beings who have a purpose and a direction in life as well as to achieve a balanced development of mind, body, and spirit.

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