The Difference Between MONTESSORI and REGGIO EMILIA

It seems that recently there have been many people inquiring about the difference between MONTESSORI and REGGIO EMILIA.  Because of this, we have put together the following article which comes from “Innovations In Early Education”.

  • The MONTESSORI energy is individual, sequential, ordered, independent, linear, historical, masculine, predetermined, methodical, rigid, an internal process, controlled movement, structured, expected, predictable.

    The REGGIO EMILIA energy is group-centered, cooperative, social, open-ended, spiral, an expressive process, new age, feminine, flexible, spontaneous, serendipitous, open movement, fluid, freely expressive.

  • MONTESSORI has a pre-determined curriculum and materials set up by the teacher, with the information flowing from the teacher to the children; hypotheses are adult established; the emphasis is of a vertical nature.

    REGGIO-inspired learning is determined by the children and teachers in collaboration, in a co-learning context with the ideas flowing between children and teachers; an expressive approach; problem solving and hypotheses developed within the triangle of child-teacher-parent interaction; the emphasis is horizontal.

  • MONTESSORI classroom walls are traditionally bare and visually quiet to focus the children’s attention on the learning materials on the shelves.

    REGGIO EMILIA classroom walls are filled with documents of the children’s explorations and experiences-photos, conversations and visual expressions; the walls of the environment are used as a tool of reflection and revisiting by the children, parents and teachers.

  • The visual arts of clay, paint, collage, drawing, wire and the verbal arts of music, dance, movement, drama are not a priority in the MONTESSORI classroom.

    In REGGIO, these models of expression are seen as languages of the child – a hundred, thousand languages, giving children a vehicle for expression and development.