Montessori and Froebel Education Philosophy

Montessori and Froebel Education Philosophy:

Points of Comparison:

(1) Provision of nursery education- Both Froebel and Montessori established their school for the teaching of small children between the age group of 3 and 7 years. Thus both of them contributed greatly to nursery education.

(2) Child-centredness in environment- Both the educators emphasized child-centredness in education. Both laid stress on the development of the inner nature of the child. They lived and died for children. They advocated an atmosphere of affection and love for the children. They regarded the school as temples and children like deities in them.

(3) Importance of environment- Both recognized the importance of a suitable, attractive and congenial environment. Both believed that there should be a good deal of flowers, plants etc. in order to give children a sense of joy. To save children from an unhealthy environment of society, Froebel started the ‘Kindergarten’ and Montessori the ‘Children House’.

(4) Emphasis on sense training- Both laid emphasis on the importance of sense training and devised special apparatus and methods for training the senses.

(5) Emphasis on self-expression- Both laid emphasis on self-expression and self-activity in an atmosphere of freedom. Self-activity is essential in both the Kindergarten as well as in the Children’s House.

(6) Provision of play-way methods- Both the educators advocated play-way methods of imparting education. It should be noted here that in the Froebelian system, greater importance is attached to play and in the Montessori system, less importance is given to play.

(7) Individual Freedom- Both were in favour of individual freedom of children. They opposed all sorts of adult restrictions on the child.

(8) Idealists- Both the educators were idealists. To Montessori the child was God. Froebel strived for unity with God through education.

Points of Contrast:

(1) Philosophical versus scientific approach- Froebel’s Kindergarten has a philosophical background. He gave metaphysical interpretation to his method. He believed that the world is controlled by God and there is unity in the whole universe. On the other hand, Montessori’s system has no metaphysical philosophy. Her method of education is based on scientific background. Her principles of education are the result of observation, experimentation and other scientific methods.

(2) Emphasis on group versus individual teaching- In Kindergarten children are taught in groups. In the Montessori system, the individuality of the child is the watchword. Every child works in his own way and at his own speed. She did not allow the individuality of the child to be crushed through collective or classroom teaching.

(3) Emphasis on social versus individual tendencies- In Kindergarten children work and play in groups. There are many group activities like songs, games and dramas in which social tendencies are encouraged. Montessori’s method is basically individualistic. Group activities are limited to the arrangement of furniture, cleaning rooms and serving meals.

(4) Uses of gifts versus didactic apparatus for sense training- In Froebel’s Kindergarten special gifts are presented to the child for sensory training. In Montessori’s system, didactic apparatus is used for training the sense.

(5) Emphasis on manual versus daily life activities- Froebel’s Kindergarten attaches great importance to manual activities like gardening, clay-modelling, weaving, paper-cutting and nature study. In the Montessori system, more importance is attached to the practical activities of daily life like dressing and undressing, laying tables, cleaning rooms etc.

(6) Scope for songs, poetry and tales- In Kindergarten songs, poetry and tales are the chief features. Froebel emphasized the use of songs, poetry and tales for stimulating the imagination of the child. In the Montessori system, there is no scope for songs, poetry and tales. Montessori altogether neglects the training of the imagination, for she does not look upon it as a part of a child’s life.

(7) Scope for reading, writing and arithmetic- In the Montessori method 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithmetic) find their due place, while they have been ignored in Kindergarten.

(8) Duties of teacher- Duties of a teacher vary in two systems. In the Kindergarten system, the teacher is like a gardener who looks after the little human plants. He regulates the activities of the children. There is scope for his interference. In the Montessori system, the teacher is only a directress. She is just to watch and observe. She is only to guide when asked for.

(9) Applicability- Froebelian system can be easily introduced in any type of infant school as gifts can be easily prepared according to local needs. In the Montessori system, elaborate costly apparatus is needed which are three in number-

  • Sensory apparatus that give sensory training of touch, sight and hearing.
  • Didatic apparatus which is used for teaching 3 R’s (reading, writing and arithemetic).
  • Motor apparatus which imparts training relating to activities of daily life.

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