Waldorf vs. Montessori Education: What’s the Difference?

Hello! Welcome to another Sunday with
Sarah. I’m Sarah Baldwin. I’m a Waldorf early childhood teacher, I’m the author of
a book called “Nurturing Children and Families” and I’m now the owner of Bella
Luna Toys. We sell Waldorf toys and wooden toys, natural toys. We sell to
a lot of Waldorf schools and parents and families but we also sell to a lot of
Montessori families. Today I’m here to talk to you about a question I get
asked a lot: “what is the difference between Waldorf education and Montessori
education?” I’ll start off the bat by saying I’m not an expert in Montessori
education. I don’t pretend to be. I have good friends who are Montessori teachers and
I almost took a job in a Montessori school because I love the director of
the school so much but my heart was really with Waldorf education, that’s
where my expertise lay. But I just wanted to share a story with you based on
my own personal observation spending a morning in a Montessori classroom, the
things that struck me about what was different in an early childhood setting—we’re talking about preschool, kindergarten, ages 3-6. So it was
a beautiful classroom, much like a Waldorf classroom, with all natural
materials, a lot of wood, beautiful children, healthy children. One thing I
can tell you that I know is that Maria Montessori, who founded Montessori
education, and Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, both were trying to
educate the whole child. In Waldorf we say “head, heart, hands” and I believe Maria
Montessori who was a doctor wanted to educate a child’s mind and spirit. So
that’s one thing they have in common. But as I observed the play I noticed that in
the Montessori classroom there are toys on shelves, a lot of them
were on trays, and what I know, what I learned and what I observed was children
were very independent and during the free play time—that’s another
difference we’ll get to, play versus work— but a child would take a tray and there
would be an activity, usually working on some skill or another, whether
cognitive or fine motor skills and I could recognize the value in that, and
they would do the task and put it back on the tray and put it away when
they were done and then the child was free to choose another activity. One thing I observed during that portion of the morning was the difference
during free play. In a Waldorf classroom it might seem a little more like a
free-for-all because the children really— we call it “play” and we believe that play
is the heart of early childhood and the key to creative thinking later in life.
So the emphasis in Waldorf is on imagination and play. In a Montessori
School it was called “work” and, true story, I was out to dinner with friends last
night and one of them, actually several of them, sent their children to
Montessori schools and liked the fact that it was called “work” because it was
enjoyable and they enjoyed their work and gave the child the idea that work is
fun, which i think is great. However, we call it “play” in Waldorf and
during free play the children are really free to move around the room. It’s a
lot more social, I think. Children play together, make stories, make scenes
together and they’re flowing in and out and now they’re firefighters and now
they’re knights slaying a dragon and now they’re having a tea party in the
kitchen and the groups would form. I saw a lot more independent play in the
Montessori classroom, children choosing their own activities, including at snack
time where one of the activities children could choose in the classroom I
visited—I’m not saying this is true in every classroom, I know there are a lot
of variations—but having snack was something I observed children doing
independently when they were ready or sitting down and sitting at a table
having a snack by themselves. In my Waldorf classroom, or I think any
Waldorf early child setting, having snack together, eating together is the
heart of the morning. When the children come in the morning, we’re chopping vegetables
or kneading dough for bread that day and all leading up to the meal we will share
together and sit down together and practice waiting to be served and
practice serving and practicing our manners. Which reminds me of another
activity I observed that day in the classroom: one activity was a
child took a tray and there was a bar of soap and a cheese grater and the child
grated and grated this to makes soap flakes and then put the soap flakes
in a bowl and added water and then took an egg beater and beat the soap
flakes into bubbles and foam. When she was done then she went to the
bathroom and dumped it all in the toilet and put everything away on the tray and
put it away and went on to the next activity. As I observed her I thought “Huh, that’s interesting.” Those are all really great activities for young
children. It’s really building those fine motor skills, grating and then the
transformation—that’s an early science lesson, the transformation of substances.
You watch the soap and the water mix together and become foamy bubbles. I
thought, in my classroom we use a grater. We use it to grate carrots for our snack,
which we would have with rice and soy sauce that day. And we use an eggbeater
to beat eggs when it’s a child’s birthday. When it was a child’s birthday we’d make a cake for the birthday child and start out by beating the eggs. And then I
thought in Waldorf education we’re using the same tools but we’re doing real work
for a real purpose. That just struck me and it’s always stayed with me. Anyway, just wanted to share that story
with you. It’s not about good school versus bad school at all because there’s
Montessori, there’s Waldorf, there are a lot of excellent, high quality
programs out there. But if you’re searching, if you’re looking and just
curious about the differences I thought I’d share that story with you and hope
it sheds some light. I’m sure this will generate a lot of comments. I would
welcome hearing from Montessori teachers more about their comments on what
I’ve described here. I hope that helps. Thank you for tuning in! If you enjoy
these videos please subscribe to our YouTube channel. I look forward to seeing
you next time. Bye.


  1. Hi Sarah. I was a Montessori teacher for years, in Connecticut. In our classroom the children used graters, peelers, and even knives to participate in collaborative activities such as creating a fruit salad we would all enjoy at lunch or afternoon snack time. The soap grating type of activity you described would certainly take place, but in my experience the purpose would be for the sake of an independent activity. We did not feel that all play and learning need be a group effort, and oftentimes it proved beneficial for a child to do something quietly and alone, at his/her own individual pace. Love your videos, and look forward to Sundays! xo

  2. Hi Sarah. I love your videos and beautiful toys on offer at Bella Luna. My son has attended Montessori school for the past two years and is going into first grade this fall. Some of the activities he has practiced over the past two years have included peeling and slicing carrots, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs and various fruits and other veggies. The children who do this activity then walk about the classroom offering the snack to friends. However, as you mentioned, much of the lessons are done independently and solitary in the very early childhood years. As my son transitions into Montessori elementary (a blend of 6 to 12 year olds) there will be more collaborative work with various ages. Thank you for sharing this video. Waldorf and Montessori are both beautiful and I love how they help develop the whole child.

  3. This was so interesting to see! My husband is a Waldorf teacher. Our youngest started in transitional Kinder last year. And will be continuing this year. When we first met many years ago I was a single parent with my oldest daughter in a Waldorf home preschool with a teacher I just loved. Very small school. I loved so much about the Waldorf approach that I was determined to start the Kindergarten at our local Waldorf school. Private, very expensive. I qualified for “financial aid” as it were, but even so I was working full time and going to grad school, just worked really hard to make it happen. Which was a wonderful experience for her.
    The next year she went to a smaller school which was based on Waldorf methods, also not cheap, but made it work. We moved around and she did some time in public school here and there but we always came back to Waldorf school (3rd grade, 4th grade, 6th grade, 7th & 8th grade… sometimes Waldorf charter schools).
    With our other children they got to experience early childhood education again with Waldorf schools.
    My question to you is we may be looking at a move somewhat soon to another county where there is one big private Waldorf school that has an amazing reputation but costs more than my college education.
    It would pain my heart to put them in regular public schools but there are no Waldorf charters nearby.
    Right now my kids attend the Waldorf Charter school where my husband teaches. Do you have any suggestions?
    Ive never heard of a Montessori public school but maybe they are out there? Years ago I inquired into a private Montessori as an alternative for one of our children but it was even more costly than the Waldorf one nearby.
    Some schools offer scholarships of sorts but I would have to be looking at at least 95% tuition remission at the prospective school for this to work for our family. I do still love the Waldorf experience and hope my children may continue to benefit from it. Thank you!
    p.s. forgot to mention we have been ordering from Bella Luna toys for years. My 6 yo still adores her heavy baby. She named her Sweet Pea.

  4. I feel that the major difference between Waldorf is the fact that Waldorf has religious underpinnings and teaches Anthroposophy, whereas there is no religious affiliation with Montessori

  5. Hi Sarah, Thank you so much for having the courage and empathy to put your perspective out here. I really appreciate your gentle but candid approach to subjects.
    I have a four year old that I have been trying to decide on an alternative schooling model for and it can be difficult to discect the true nature of the different styles if you don't have personal experience with it. I feel like both Montessori and Waldorf are effective teaching models and it is really just a matter of what speaks to you and your child. But it is so nice to get your perspective to confirm the differences I suspected myself. Although both styles are great I can only choose one school for my child to attend.

  6. I loved your video, thank you for sharing your thoughts! Here is a post I wrote called "A Montessori Teacher's Thoughts on Waldorf Education" and it might give more insight into the differences between Montessori and Waldorf.

    As a Montessori 3-6 and 6-9 trained teacher, I have a lot of respect for Waldorf education, even though I was drawn to (fell in love with!) Montessori at a young age (23). And as a Montessori teacher, I have recommended it for a few children (usually two students per year) who were graduating from our 3-6 classroom, because I (we) felt it was a better choice for those particular children. Their interests, or should I say passions, were not with the Montessori materials, and certainly not academics like phonics and simple math, but instead they loved arts, crafts, practical life, the outdoors, and botany.

    One of the attributes I like about Waldorf is its sensitivity for the development of the WHOLE child: mind, body, and spirit. Also, there is a lot of emphasis on fine motor (like weaving, knitting, sewing), nature, cooking, playing, arts and crafts, large motor play, story telling, poetry, songs, critical thinking, and literature.

    Speaking of large motor, children really benefit from an emphasis on large motor movement activities, which aid in the function of right and left brain development: thus improving reading and writing skills between the ages of five and nine.

    What I can say about child-hood development is that not all professionals agree that children as young as four, five and six should be doing academic work, that their right-brain and left-brain development is not completed, in fact, in some children, especially boys, it is delayed as compared to girls. And Waldorf takes this to heart–academic reading begins at age eight.

    In Montessori, there is a Sensitive Period for Reading at age five (Sensitive Period for Writing at age 4 1/2). But there is another sensitive period for reading at age eight. And Waldorf waits until the second sensitive period at age eight to start teaching children how to read. Up until that age, the language focus in Waldorf is on the SPOKEN word through storytelling, poetry, songs, and verse.

    If you think your child would do better (and be happier) in a Waldorf-style environment, with arts, crafts, cooking, large motor, fine motor, songs, story telling, and a lot less emphasis on academics until the later years… then Waldorf just might be the better choice.

  7. I would have loved to hear that they used the soap instead of dumping it. That would have taught conservation and utilization in the task. I like both schools of thought on how they teach children to actually know how to live in the world around them. While also being polite. 👍👍Mine are over the age for either of these schools, which I wish extended further.

  8. I love that Waldorf schools start the day with singing!
    My son who attended a Waldorf school from 2nd through 5th grade, didn’t learn to read until age 8 but at age 26 he continues to write beautiful poetry. He had such fond memories of his years at Waldorf school that he studied Anthroposophy on his own in college while earning a masters degree in Engineering and is now teaching Physics and Math in a Waldorf high school.

  9. Hello Sarah! I have 'fielded' the comparison/contrast question about Waldorf and Montessori over many years…one realization I have (although I remain open and
    in flux with new thoughts over time…) is that in the Waldorf Early Childhood Classroom environment, the children are free during Creative Free Choice Play to seek out and gather their own materials and 'tools' from the corners, shelves and overall integrated space – designed for both individual and group activity. In the Montessori classroom, among the materials available, there are pre-cut shapes and forms available – on trays – for children to take up and 'assemble' into specific patterns or in a pre-determined order. It is referred to as 'work'… The 'assembly' of these items is intended to serve a specific 'pattern' for thinking and support of cognitive development – an approach which is unique to the Montessori brand. In the Waldorf classroom during 'Free Play' young children choose their own readily available materials. They are free to find their own use and purpose and end result! Play is highly regarded as 'work' for the young child. It may be said it is an essential part of the Waldorf Early Childhood teaching approach – to support the free-flowing, creative 'play' process of the young child. It leads to flexible and entrepreneurial thinking in adulthood! Guidance is available for the individual as needed within the Waldorf approach. Group activities underscore the development of social skills needed to live in community. Waldorf Early Childhood classroom life engages the children in learning age-appropriate pre-academic skills. Throughout the day in the classroom, there is a balance of active and reflective time to allow children to internalize impressions. With a focus on healthy adult and peer role modeling, children are free to learn through imitation within an integrated, 'natural flow' – as in the context of daily life.

  10. This comment section is amazing! So much respect for the different schools and communicating information as well as understanding with compassion. Just shows what type of people teach and come from these two ways of education.

  11. can I ask how do Waldorf school approach technology? how do they teach the children to be competent and ready to go out into a world of the 21st century? I'm just curious cause currently doing my education in teaching and really interested in Waldorf 🙂 thank you!

  12. I’m the grandma, but as we approached home education for my autistic granddaughter, I gave my daughter (her mom) information on both schools and she had perhaps the best take on the difference as she described it to a friend of hers.

    She was describing doll play, and how Waldorf uses wool stuffing so the doll takes on the child’s warmth and radiates it back to the child…and has minimal expressions so as to allow the child the greatest freedom of imagination. In Montessori, they hand the child a real baby to diaper.

    No, I agree with your take. Where I do think children like to handle “real” things….real nuts and bolts, the fact that they were used to mindlessly spin on and spin off rather than actually build something of use bothered me.

    The fact that they let the children do actual things, I loved…like washing dishes, sweeping, or carrying their food tray. I think that’s right up a 2 year olds development.

    And, 30 years ago, at least to my knowledge, Waldorf schools (here) didn’t include that. They do now.

    Indeed, I’ve seen a lot of blending.

    I think Montessori has a place for autistic children who naturally like to play independently and do their own thing, indeed, I think autistic children would be very comfortable there….so it’s hard to explain, knowing that, why we chose instead Waldorf for our autistic little one, but we did…even if that meant we had to work harder to elicit her imagination to develop.

  13. Curious. You mentioned how the work with Montessori is much more independent, which I largely agree with. But did you see older students working on things together? My experience is you’re more likely to see a 3-year old working alone and more likely to see older students work on “bigger” projects together. Also, older students teaching younger students happens a lot. I love the dialog this video is bringing in the comments. I wish more of the internet had comment sections like this. Haha

  14. I'm here after choosing Montessori school for my child, he is in primary B and is not doing so well. I think he will do best in a different setting. Genius don't like to be told what to do in ways that don't make sense lol.

  15. Doing real work for a real purpose is the foundation of Montessori philosophy. That so much of the prepared environment is given over to exercises of "practical life" is evidence of this concept. Children are drawn to imitate and engage in activities for self-care, care of others, and care of their surroundings. Children also have an inner drive to practice those skills through repetition. So, the practical life area will often contain a shelf for skill building – where children can practice pouring water to a line through a funnel (as many times as they would like), using spoons, scoops, or other tools to strengthen hand-eye coordination and refine muscle movements, and so on. When we bake a cake, I can say, "wow, I can see that you have really been practicing measuring." I can turn over more and more of the activity to children as they become more competent and able to function independently in the real world.

    In fact, it was the observation that children would prefer to engage with real food over pretend food, real tools that allow them to actually make things than plastic ones where they pretend to, that informs our methods. At birth, the child is bombarded with information. They have to sort out the properties of matter, IF/THEN relationships- cause and effect, what is safe and unsafe, living and non-living, and generally what is true and not true about the time and place in which they find themselves. Just as a baby will hold up their head, roll over, begin to crawl, pull up to stand… without being "taught," the child will continue an innate path of development that causes them to explore and experiment with the way the world works. They are literally constructing the cognitive architecture that will help them to accurately perceive and respond to reality.

    Once this foundation is established (around age 6) they can "play" and engage in fantasy as much as they want …because they will "get the joke" and know that they are consciously creating games and juxtapositions of concepts. It is like the difference between banging on a piano (because that's all you can do) and composing music. Most of the play that we remember from our childhood happened after age 6.

    Before that time, it is true that children can use play to process emotions, and this can be important. But this is not discouraged in the Montessori classroom. Children are empowered to choose their own activities in response to their inner emotional, social, physical, cognitive, adaptive/spiritual needs. Protecting the connection to our innate drives for health and well-being (knowing when we are hungry, when we are thirsty, when we would benefit from movement, etc.) is part of the reason for independent snack during the morning period. Lessons of grace and courtesy are already practiced in every interaction in the classroom. We will continue these lessons at lunch and during cultural "celebrations of life" that should also happen regularly in a Montessori classroom.

    Hope this is helpful.

  16. What I hope is that these schools stop neglecting children with disabilities. Montessori schools here discriminate against any child with adhd Austism even if the child is perfectly functional and capable to do the work and the parents can afford the school just because they don’t want their academics lowered. I know this for a fact because my daughter who has autism goes to a psychiatrist whose own child goes to a local Montessori school which hired his office to weed out children with these problems because they don’t belong in their school which he thought was a shame since it would do such good for children with autism…..disgusting to discriminate intelligent children like that

  17. I love that you have done this video, Sarah. I am a Montessori parent and have always loved Waldorf. Maria Montessori said to "follow the child", meaning that each child has an intelligence that we can trust and we should provide them with what they are asking for. Because of this, each Montessori school is unique as the children drive where the learning gets directed, based on their interests, as well as the demographics of the community.

    My children have gone to a few Montessori schools and they are all different, but all have the same underlying feeling of peacefulness, care of the environment and a sense of community. Maria Montessori said that Montessori education is education for peace, with the aim of the education being that when the child develops inner peace, this peace filters out into the world, eventually creating world peace :).

    My children have thrived in Montessori education (my daughter is now in a Montessori high school) , they are so confident and happy. I remember going to playgroup with my son where he made scones every week to share with the class at snack time. He did this for weeks until he had absorbed it and was ready to move on to the next thing. Montessori works with "sensitive periods" where teachers capitalise on the time where children are interested in something, because the brain is absorbing it very easily, so it does not feel like work, but like play to them.

    I remember once my daughter's teacher changed the direction of what she had been planning to teach because the children in her 6-9 class made parachutes that they were throwing off the first-floor balcony. She developed a whole science curriculum for them where they worked out speed, velocity etc! I find it so fascinating that the teachers work in such a beautiful partnership with the children to nurture their learning and their spirits.

    Montessori and Waldorf teachers are angels walking on the earth and I bow in gratitude to all of you. xxx

  18. Hi Sarah, my son was in a Montessori school (we call it Kindergarten, he was 4 at the time) for a year. He never wanted to go, the mornings were a fight every day. I guess he lacked a close relationship to the teachers and to the other kids. He felt much more safe in a normal school, where they did more as a whole group. If you or somebody else reads that – any suggestions for the school from the age of 5/6 – 10? Would Waldorf be better?

  19. Thank you for this video(and the wonderful responses in the comments)! My son is in Waldorf and I have been trying to explain to relatives what this means exactly and how it differs-and the main response I receive is "Is it the same as Montessori?" and I wasn't educated enough on Montessori to juxtapose.

  20. Montessori elementary school is very collaborative. Right or wrong, Montessori observed, with all the biases that any individual has, that young children had the need for independent work.

    That bubble work might be a vestigial chore from before mass distribution of laundry detergent and dish soap. It might have been a practical work when it was created by an earlier Montessori teacher.

    My son helps prepare snack in his Montessori school using hand choppers and apple slicers to cut fruit and vegetables. He had also used a grater to grate cheese and cinnamon sticks. Some schools may not allow kids to handle food too much. It's not really authentic Montessori though.

  21. I think the story at 5:30 is quite trivial. The child using a grater for soap and an egg beater for agitating the soapy water are examples of a child using tools for divergent purposes, what's your point? That the utensils are being used wrong? That Montessori kids don't cook whereas Steiner kids do? Or is it that Steiner is more focused on reality and proper usefulness of objects? If either of the educative approaches is focused on 'reality' it is certainly Montessori.

  22. Montessori also uses kitchen tools for food preparation. It depends on the directress and her style of educating. I would then take bubbles and have a work of washing a baby (bath) or use it for washing clothing. The lessons we give can be based on everyday living skills along with math, science etc. we have group snacks and group birthday celebration. Walk around sun. We also have a snack table for 4 children to enjoy socializing and meal prep. Children are able to work in groups and independently. There are so much more to Montessori than you had in that one observation. I am curious about your observation of play and how they naturally learn how to count, write name and learn sounds?

  23. The bubbles story is a representation of creativity, that goes beyond activities focus solely on porpuse. Creative mind goes with the hand of self steem, and an effective prooven way in developing a helthy self steem in a child is by valuying their creative thinking in action. And I believe those are the lessons they take in life to become more self assured and proactive adults…Thank you for sharing.

  24. I'm taking CD courses. I have not heard of Waldorf education as of yet. I worked for a child care resource and referral agency and never heard of any Waldorf education center. Waldorf is news to me.

  25. Hay Sarah! One tool can be use in many different activities or work! Just to let you know that I use a spoon to curl my eye lashes, so if the child is experiment some work with a kitchen tool I don’t see any negative on doing that.

  26. I barely know anything at all about Waldorf. I know more about Montessori, and that's one thing that stroke me as odd: kids were practicing their skills without a goal, a purpose in mind. I liked it when they did those woven woolen thread bracelets, that they would actually wear out of school, but most of the activities were more like the soap suds task you described.

  27. Ahhhh. I’ve purchased many toys from Bella Luna for my grandkids who go to a Waldorf school. How cool that Bella Luna is you!!
    I’m a Waldorf kid, went to Green Meadow. I loved it.

  28. This was interesting to watch as someone who was in a Montessori preschool and a Waldorf school from Class 1 until halfway through Class 8 (not to mention who is facing the prospect of teaching English at a Waldorf school in Japan). Thank you.

    By the way, that necklace matches your eye colour in the loveliest way. 🙂

  29. Jesus Loves you whoever is reading this. He is the only way from eternal damnation, be free from lies and deceptions. You are Loved.

  30. Ugh… the soap activity! This actually highlights a huge divide in the Montessori community. Should tools be used only for their intended purpose? As a 6-12 Montessori teacher and school director, I would have been a little sad to have seen that activity in one of my school's classrooms, for exactly the reasons you stated.

  31. It would be good if Montessori was more community oriented. I have experience with educating my two daughters in Waldorf education, and found the warmth and good will of a Waldorf community classroom or whole school event is invaluable. It's so tangible and nourishing.

  32. That's a great story, and was very helpful in understanding Waldorf vs Montessori.
    We have just started looking at pre schools for my daughter and would love if you/your guests could do something that helps understand Waldorf vs. Steiner vs. J. Krishnamurthy vs. the "Finland style of education" vs. Montessori as well. There are schools which offer all these different styles, and as a novice in this space, I am completely lost

  33. Thanks for sharing this video. I personally think that it is the child himself who brings his parents to the school he/she (actually their souls) needs…

  34. Both might be good for different reasons and for different children. However I'd be interested in seeing a future study of the results as these children are grown, between these and also traditional early education.

  35. Hello Miss Sarah
    I love the way of waldrof school system,plz tell me the procedure of evaluation,I will be very thankful to you.

  36. I think the BIGGEST difference, I'm my opinion , between Montessori and Waldorf is that Waldorf use a lot of imaginative tools (fairies, etc) wheres as Montessori is based on what is real. There's also more of a philosophical aspect in Waldorf with anthroposophy even though Montessori also emphasizes on the spirit of the child, but not as much with candles or verses for ex.

  37. With all due respect, I think your video would have been more effective if you had worked in tandem with one of your "Montessorian friends." You are obviously very knowledgeable in Waldorf education but I think this video reinforces some of the misconceptions of Montessori education. It would have been nice to see in the comments below more acknowledgement of the Montessorians who are trying to correct this misinformation. If you want a great video series on what Montessori education, visit http://montessoriworld.org/ They have posted from their vault actual video footage of Margaret Homfray, who was a protégé of Montessori herself.

  38. Thanks for the video.i enjoyed it. In Montessori schools there is great importance in using practical life skills to help with real life experiences. Children do often prepare real snacks together, make eggs, or dips or breads, etc. 🙂 I have observed children enjoy work best when it is for a real purpose so I like your thought about that. My grandma is a Montessori director and I was raised Montessori and have taught Montessori and I also love Waldorf and am learning about it.

  39. the difference is that waldorf education is not secular but anthroposophic ….. it heavily promotes especially christian myths and that in forms from very subtle to right on the nose.
    starting with the drawing exercises of early christian mandalas, over biblical art, school plays, pinboard courses, to an actually ban of chewing gum or rockmusic.
    not all of the things apply to all waldorf schools because they adjust their franchaise to their targets, but nonetheless. reason enough for me to call them a sect and turn to montessouri

  40. In my son’s Montessori School, they used the graters to grate veggies and they used knives to cut their veggies for snack. They would also use all sorts of baking tools to bake bread. I think the lesson you observed was simply to enhance fine motor skills and make it fun while incorporating a science lesson. Also, in his school they had solitary activities and group activities.

  41. Hello sarah, im a student from Malaysia that studies about early childhood education. If you know, can you share to us about Friedrich Froebel as a educator at Germany?

  42. This was so helpful to watch, thank you. I am a child development student and I feel at home in alternative education methods. It's been difficult to pinpoint which method I'd like to use both as a homeschool mom and as a professional when I work for my master's degree. But really, this cleared everything up.

  43. waldorf vs montessori?
    what we really need to do is get rid of the monster, that is light destroying public schools, designed to break children and create slaves.

  44. This is a bad analysis because you don't know the real reasoning behind Montessori education. You should have learnt properly before making such videos. The soap grating was certainly not the right Montessori way because Montessori is about real life as well. What you have seen doesn't sound to be the authentic Montessori environment. Sadly, what Montessori lacks is the trademark which creates all this misunderstanding. But if we follow AMI, we should be safe because it gives the real reasoning behind the activities and philosophy, which is for the best of the children.

  45. I got probably 1 hour of teacher education on learning and observing these types of education. I’ve been in public schools for 10 years….

  46. Hello, thanks for the info. Do you perhaps know about ieyc curriculum and will you share the differences about ieyc and waldorf? I was in a ieyc-based school before and from what you share here i think they might have quite a lot similarity. Thank you

  47. I use a grater to grate soap to make laundry detergent…so I'd say they are using the appropriately. Although, yes, as other have said, I would love to see them use the soapy water instead of dumping.

  48. That story about the beater is interesting, but the thing is the material, soap bubbles and all are always available daily for the child to use. if the need is strong then the child is able to even repeat the activity as many times as they like. repetition is always encouraged.

  49. "real work for a real purpose." Waldorf education gives life and context to what children are learning.

    Another big difference is that Waldorf education is teacher led, where Montessori is very much child led from the start.

  50. Baking a cake isn't a HUGE purpose as oppose to the other science bubble experiment it's a little bit more knowledgable I'd say then the average baking a cake.

  51. I felt this video was a bias review. It clearly weighed heavy on Waldorf and ignored the fundamentals of Montessori. "Real work for a real purpose" … that is insulting to the heart of Montessori. If you have no education or formal training, you should not be speaking like this. I hope there aren't parents sitting on the fence and this video is what they watch. I recommend that you have a Montessori guide sit with you and together you discuss both sides of these two types of education – if both are not represented fairly, you should not be sharing your uneducated opinion to the masses.

  52. Hello hair nice to meet you
    I am Aravindan from Indian . Here I am working Waldorf school art teacher wonderful class activities and paintings claymodeling

  53. Wich do you think would be better for a child with adhd? Please consider that they have problems with motivation and impulsivity.

  54. I haven't heard of Waldorf too often; however, the heart, hands and head way of learning I am familiar with.

  55. Watching you talk about education and seeing the passion behind it, just made me emotional. I dont know why! I just wish there were more teachers like you. I was a gifted child and had a horrible time at school. My son is also gifted, which i find hard sometimes, cause i dont want him to struggle with the same things in school as i did . Thats why im such a fan of both montessori and waldorf. Where the child is free to use imagination and is able to learn so much more. Dont know where im going with this story.. just wanted to express my gratitude. I wish all teachers were like you!

  56. Btw from what I know Tolstoy's ideas on education are similar to Steiner's in many ways, so I'm interested if somebody has done any rigorous comparison, because Tolstoy was not only a great writer but also a great teacher indeed.

  57. I attended a Waldorf School for 3 years. My son attended a Montessori school for 6 years. The principal difference I noticed is that in Waldorf, the teacher is the model in the classroom who the student is expected to pattern him/herself after, in addition to after the various heroes and gods that are studied in Waldorf. In Montessori, the teacher is the enabler, the demonstrator who quickly gets out of the picture and allows the rules of the classroom and the materials themselves dictate the correct behavior for the children.

  58. Montessori Preschool Activities

    The Montessori method is very popular around the world with early childhood and preschoolers’ professionals and parents.


  59. https://www.intechopen.com/online-first/principles-of-equality-managing-equality-and-diversity-in-a-steiner-school

  60. I trained in Italy in 1986-7 under Signorina Paolini, a colleague of Dr Montessori.
    The grater/soap activity was not in our Practical Life set, although it can have a purposeful use.
    I would not have it in my class, rather, I would have the child grating cartot/cheese/apple.
    I felt that your observations were subtly biased as you insinuated that "work" is somehow not an appropriate word for children's activities.
    Montessori children have just as many opportunities to use their imagination in free play however, the didactic materials (Sensorial/Math/Cultural) have a specific purpose. There are other materials which can be incorporated in imaginative play.
    In my classroom the children looked forward to eating snack and lunch together. If a child chose to keep working with the materials, I would not force him/her to stop and eat!
    The Montessori Approach has sadly, been misinterpreted from the beginning. The Montessori name is not patented, so anyone can put the name on their Centre. Also, Teacher training varies a great deal around the world so this makes it difficult to determine standards.
    Dr Montessori believed that a child's imagination was forged from real life activity. It comes to the fore during the second plane of development, 6-12 years, where the study of Mythology, History and so many other "ologies" can be explored with great interest.

  61. I have a great observational story:two groups of children went outside to play. They both saw a pile of rocks. The Montessori children categorized the rocks by size small, medium, large.
    The Waldorf children took the rocks and made a house for the fairies……..nuff said
    Waldorf education simply the best.

  62. I actually like the idea of using the grater for the soap. We will all learn to use the grater to cook but I like the idea of using objects in unconventional ways. It takes the object out of the “box” and get the critical/imaginative thinking going, creating clever and innovative people.

  63. I think that the most important difference is that Waldorf has a spiritual point of view behind, Montessori has the scientific method.

  64. I've been really into researching Montessori lifestyles lately, but now I think I want to look into Waldorf as well. Perhaps I could find a happy medium and decide which parts of each style that I really like and use them all.

  65. If my child could get educated by either one, am sure he will be happy and successful in life. Thanks for the info. I had never heard of a waldrof education

  66. My daughter went to a Waldorf school for pre K and K. She loved it. She’s in a public school now and we’re thinking about getting her back into Waldorf.

  67. thanks a lot for this video, i searched for what is good for my kid , and i went to Montessori as the almost best method for a kid to learn with ., but guess what after deep searching now i am fond of Waldorf and totally changed my mind after i practice it with my kid just few times, it is really really peaceful , creative and full of knowledge and every aspect needed .

  68. i'd like to add another fact about the term 'work' in the Montessori context (adolescent Montessori guide here). Dr. Montessori believed that work (among many other attributes) is a universal human tendency. our job as adult guides is to prepare and maintain an environment that allows children to independently choose and direct their own work and therefore their own learning and growth. trusting that people of every age want to be active and grow themselves is a key cornerstone to the philosophy that guides it all. then it's a matter of preparing an environment that responds to the developmental needs of the children. as adolescents, that means opening up to the larger society, working together to maintain a farm environment (where their work very much matters), creating products that they sell, making money to decide what to do with, etc. they are living together in practice society where they all have a place and purpose.

    With Montessori, it looks different at every plane of development because they need different things, but the idea is that we provide space and freedom for them to self-develop through their own work.

  69. Here in México we use the foamy soap to wash the cleaning clothes or our dolls clothing tío, ir even wash some dishes so yes, we have a purpose

  70. I think it’s really good that the children are doing so many things independently. It’s good for children to learn to interact socially, but it’s also good for children to learn self reliance.

  71. Lunch is a very communal activity in the Montessori classroom. So while the little snack is an independent work as needed, the entire class comes together to each as a community every lunch. It’s really beautiful.

    I would have appreciated a bit more understanding of Montessori before sharing this video. Though I did appreciate that you heavily qualified your experience. Maybe you could have asked your Montessori friends about some of the assumptions you made. That would be a quick check: for example, hey sue, do they eat all meals alone?

    Do you guys ever cook together as a class?

    Both answers would surprise you I think. 🙂

    I’m so glad for this opportunity to learn a bit more about Waldorf.

  72. I went to a Waldorf School for a year when I was seven and as soon as my parents would let me I asked to return to a comprehensive primary school. I felt like I wasn't being stretched to my full capabilities as a bright young seven year old. I felt bored and restless during classes because I wanted to learn new and difficult topics whereas instead we were simply encouraged to play or draw. At first I enjoyed the constant playing and drawing and laughing but I soon began to feel as though I needed a greater challenge. Although I can see where the Waldorf philosophy comes from, as someone who as directly experienced it's teaching methods, I feel as though if I had stayed at the Waldorf School I attended I would not be able to achieve as highly as I do now. This comment is, of course, not meant to offend any parents interested in Waldorf education. It is merely a comment on my experience.

  73. the bella luna toys are great👍 we were going to a waldorf school and appreciate the philosophy but most freemasonry type philosophy schools are no longer taught by ppl who understand what their doing and it's become a nice day care, the lack of understanding with the teachers who are mostly just cat/crystal lady/sjw stereotypes. the children are not corrected in anyway, they kick and hit each other, step on the <1 year old children ect. it's all about the actual teachers, the philosophy is still nice and helpful but not being adhered to.

  74. Yeah, you could've recorded this video alongside a montessori educator, because you got many things wrong… I love all the information on Waldorf though.

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