Montessori vs. Piaget

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Maria Montessori’s Theory

Jean Piaget’s Theory

Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget are two educational philosophers whose theories are still being used and influence today’s educational system. Their theories and methods were revolutionary for their times, but they came to be greatly respected. Both of these theorist developed their own stages of child development and were able to base education on these stages. Although in many ways Piaget and Montessori were very similar in their thinking they were also very different in their teaching approaches. Piaget and Montessori are two main players in the early childhood education field and based most of their ideas on their observations of children.

Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Italy. She was born to a conservative family and decided that when she finished secondary school she would study science. This was very uncommon amongst women of her time and she was met with a lot of resistance from colleagues, but this never influenced her decisions or her educational path. Montessori later decided she would change her direction and become a medical doctor. She was the first woman in Italy to graduate medical school. Once graduating medical school Maria Montessori never practiced medicine, but began to study and observe the young children that were in the hospital. From these observations she began to develop her own theories of child development, leading her into the education field. Montessori’s observations lead her to decide that the children were not the problem, but the problem was the adults in the learning environment and the environment itself. In 1907 Maria Montessori was invited to open her own school in the slums of Rome, Casa dei Bambini. The purpose of this school was to keep the children of workers under control, rather than them being unsupervised and running around the slums. The school was the first of many schools that would later open and be based on the Montessori methods....
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