This year I undertook an independent study that researched Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio schools. These three styles of school represent alternatives to traditional public schooling. Many children come out of the public school system with very negative memories of their time there, and consequently have a great dislike for learning. I am interested in alternatives to the public school system because I feel that they create children who are lifelong learners, and that they make the educational process much more personal and meaningful than public school does. Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio schools are worth studying because they provide three unique alternatives to the problem of public school.
My final paper for my independent study compared these three schools, and argued that Montessori emphasizes the individual’s intellect, Waldorf emphasizes the child’s soul, and Reggio emphasizes the community. To come to this conclusion, I studied a variety of factors, ranging from instructional materials and classroom freedom to spiritual philosophy and the interactions between parents, teachers and students. I feel that my findings are relevant to all who are interested in improving the educational process – students, parents and teachers alike.
Kate Freund, ’10 Chicago, IL
Major: Special Studies
Sponsor: Stephanie Mackler