I know the S and M philosophy are different, and on some aspects opposed, but both look interesting to me, for different reasons.
Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner both believed in childrens' innate desire to learn, both believed that human development is guided by some spiritual force of some kind. Both believed it the task of education to nurture the desire through creative activity and direct experience. Both thought that learning process is far more than than a series of abstract mental events with Montessori tending towards sensory dimensions of intelligence. Steiner was more esoteric homing in on primacy of the imagination. Although both were interested in feeing the human spirit, they both started highly structured methodologies that sometimes leave little room for children's individual developmental needs - in this respect homeschooling wins hands down.
My priorities are giving my kid the chance to: - Grow in a safe, loving, respectful, peaceful, healthily non-competitive and non-coercive, child-centred environment - Play and be a kid for as much as possible (postponing formal education like other European countries do) - Learn things at his own pace, when he shows interest for them (especially in relation to reading and writing)
I value: - Every activity or teaching that promotes learning to understand our connection into the wider ecological systems of the planet - Seeing the human being as something more that a machine - Practical teachings related to day-to-day life (cooking, stitching, sawing) - Helping kids to develop their imagination - Supporting and encouraging kids to share cooperation and respect - Different age classes, where children can learn from the older kids and take care of the younger ones - Having the chance to be actively and practically involved in the general life of the school my kid will attend - Fresh, unprocessed, unsweetened, organic food - Minimising the time kids spend in front of a screen
Wow, it took me a while to put this list together, but it's worth it. Thanks for getting me started teacher! Oh, I'm not sure if "being close to East London" is a priority or a value, bit it would definitely make my life much easier.
The philosophies are almost polar opposites in terms of provision & practice! The individual schools will also vary in how they interpret the philosophy- because of individual staff. This write up seems to be pretty good (from what I have heard form colleagues & friends who have children at either type of school) privateschool.about.com/od/privateschoolfaqs/f/montwaldorfdiff.htm
What is it that you are after exactly? If you list what your values & priorities are, people might be able to help you decide.
Hi apermanentheadache, thanks for your reply. I was wondering if I actually managed to post this thread, as I had't had any reply so far.
I've actually already read a lot about both these systems of education. I've also read some of the old - even very old - threads on mumsnet. I think I gathered quite a sound knowledge about the theory, what I'd love to learn is more about the practical application, and first-hand experiences, in specific London schools in recent years.
Hi there, I just relocated to East London with my family and I'm looking for an "alternative education" school to send my child to. We're pondering our options between Montessori and Stainer schools at the moment. Is there any parents who would kindly offer any firsthand testimony about St. Paul's Stainer School and other Montessori schools around the Hackney area?