People always say, it’s unnecessary to learn one certain teaching method because we can’t teach all children in a single way. For sure it won’t help to completely copy the method, but if we learn from the successful educating experience of others’ and combine the characteristics of our own students, we can definitely find a more effective method.
Therefore, here are 6 famous teaching methods that are worth to use as reference.
I. The Montessori Pedagogy
The founder of Montessori teaching method is the Italian child-educator Maria Montessori, the first female Doctor of Medicine in Italy and a feminist.
Her teaching method derives from her experience of working with children. Based on her observations, Montessori believed that children who are at liberty to choose and act freely within an environment prepared according to her model would act spontaneously for optimal development.
The Montessori Pedagogy encourages to create an educational environment tailored for basic human characteristics, to the specific characteristics of children at different ages, and to the individual personalities of each child. The function of the environment is to help and allow the child to develop independence, confidence, creativity, etc.
The pedagogy emphasizes children’s thinking pattern: from concrete to semi-concrete and then to abstract, which can arouse children’s inner guiding power and activate their potential.
II. Froebel’s Theory
Friedrich Froebel laid the foundation for modern education and his education theory is still leading the world. He coined the word “kindergarten” and created the concept of it.
In his main written work The Education of Man that was published in 1826 explained his theory:
In this work, he introduced the concept of “free work” into pedagogy and established the “game” as the typical form that life took in childhood, and also the game’s educational worth.
Game is also where the kindness derives. Through games children can experience sacrificing, helping, cooperating and can also gain happiness and patience.
Hence, this theory emphasizes the importance of games in early childhood education.
III. Waldorf Education
Waldorf education derives from the name of a school: the Waldorf School opened in 1919 in Stuttgart, Germany. The school became widely known and was considered the model of future education.
Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is based on an anthroposophical view and understanding of the human being, that is, as a being of body, soul and spirit.
According to the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, only education that aimed at human deep consciousness can help children grow, and finally they can achieve insight and judgment beyond material, desire and emotion. Combining innate wisdom and essence, they can eventually find their own place and direction of life.
So, one of the missions of a Waldorf teacher is to help children obtain self-awareness. However, children will be self-centered if it happens too early and will be confused if it happens too late.
IV. Reggio Emilia Approach
Loris Malaguzzi worked with preschool educators in Reggio, a city in northeastern Italy, to start and develop preschool education since the 1960s.
Later, a set of “unique and innovative philosophy and curriculum assumptions, school organization methods and principles of environmental design” formed there was referred to as the “Reggio Emilia education system”.
The Principle of this pedagogy is: children’s learning is not constructed independently, but in many conditions, mainly in the process of interaction with parents, teachers and peers; it is to construct knowledge, emotion and personality in a specific cultural background. In the process of interaction, children are both beneficiaries and contributors.
This approach does not only put children in an active learning position, but it also strengthens children’s sense of identity with families and groups, so that each child can feel the sense of belonging and self-confidence when participating in activities.
V. Emile, or On Education
This method originates from Emile, a book on education written by the French naturalist philosopher Rousseau. It is divided into five volumes and talks about principles, contents and methods of educating children at different ages.
The first volume focuses on the physical education of infants before the age of two, so that children can develop naturally.
In the second volume, he believes that children between the age of two and twelve are still sleeping in terms of intelligence and lack thinking ability, so he advocates sensory education during this period.
In the third volume, he thinks teenagers that are twelve to fifteen years of age have already had some experience through the senses, so he mainly discusses their intellectual education.
In the fourth volume, he thinks that the young people from 15 to 20 years old start to enter the society, so he mainly discusses the moral education for them.
In the fifth volume, due to the need of the natural development of young men and women, he mainly discusses the education of women and love education of young people.
At present, there are kindergartens
in China established according to Emile teaching method implemented by Rousseau.
VI. Tao Xingzhi’s Life Education
Tao Xingzhi is a famous educator in China. His teacher was Dewey, an educational thinker and a pragmatic philosopher. Dewey once puts forward the educational philosophy of “school is society” and “education is life”.
On the basis of Dewey’s educational notion, Tao proposes three principles of life education, which are “life is education“, “Society is school“, and “Integrative Teaching, Doing and Learning“.
What is Life Education then?
Tao says life education is the education that focuses on life. What kind of life you have means what kind of education you get. The education has a goal if your life has a goal.
Tao also thinks that life determines education. Education becomes real education through the power of life.
The main principal of life education includes:
- Life has the educational significance; it has the educational function.
- Life determines education, and education cannot separate itself from life.
- Education serves to transform life and plays an active role in the practice of transforming life.
- “Life is education” is a criticism that traditional education is divorced from reality and life.
Maria Montessori, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Montessori
Friedrich Fröbel, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Fr%C3%B6bel
Waldorf Education, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education
Reggio Emilia approach, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggio_Emilia_approach
Emile, or On Education, wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emile,_or_On_Education
Translated by Helian Ding
Edited by Blair Zheng