Distinguishing Montessori & Steiner Education Methods

Education is the foundation upon which individuals build their lives, and every parent wants the best possible education for their children. However, choosing between the Montessori and Steiner education systems can be a challenging decision for parents, as many are not familiar with the features of these teaching methods. Both Steiner and Montessori share similarities, such as treating children with reverence and respect to allow for the full development of their inner potential. This article will explore the Montessori and Steiner movements to help parents choose between these two alternative education systems.


The Montessori education system is based on the philosophy of Dr. Maria Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy and an educationist. She was disappointed by the education system in Italy, which seemed to prepare workers for factories rather than encouraging children to develop according to their own personalities and potential. Dr. Montessori opened the first Montessori institution, which she preferred to call a “house of children” rather than a school. Her ideas later expanded into the Montessori education system as it is known today.


The Steiner education system, expressed through Waldorf schools, was developed by Austrian educationist Rudolf Steiner. The Steiner curriculum is designed to enhance children’s concentration levels and prepare them physically and emotionally for education. Each child is considered a social and spiritual being, and the school curriculum is used as a tool to help the child through various stages of development. The academic achievement of children is viewed through the lens of age-appropriate social, emotional, and spiritual development.

Key Takeaways

  • Academic subjects are introduced to children later in the Steiner system than in Montessori.
  • Steiner is more teacher-guided than Montessori, where children are encouraged to learn on their own.
  • Montessori is more flexible than Steiner regarding spirituality, adapting to suit the child’s needs, while Steiner emphasizes humanity and understanding the workings of the universe.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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