3 Alternative Preschool Models

16 March 2016
 Categories: Education & Development, Blog

When it comes to picking out the right preschool for your child, there are a bevy of choices to consider. Among the many things you will have to choose for your child is the model or curriculum of schooling. Although there are plenty of mainstream models to choose from, there are a select few alternative models that often get pushed under the rug. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn of just a few alternative preschool models.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio Emilia model requires that its teachers take a role that is both aloof and interactive with the students in the classroom. For example, while this model encourages instructors and teachers to interact with the students, it also requires to let them discover what interests them on their own and to interact with other students (all while under the watchful eye of the teacher, of course). Children are then placed into small groups of other children that share the same interest, and this interest is fostered by the teacher through explanation of the interest and how it relates to the world around them.


Montessori models are one of the most popular forms of alternative schooling that are available to preschoolers today. The Montessori model is not unlike the Reggio Emilia model, but is far more hands on, and takes a more experiential, playful approach to teaching, unlike the lecturing and didactic modes of teaching you will find in Emilia models. In fact, teachers are not even referred to as "teachers" under the rubric of the Montessori model. Rather, they are facilitators or guides, who help the student discover what their interests are in through study, play, and the facilitation of practical skills, like learning manners or how to dress one's self.

Experiential Models

Experiential models draw largely upon the pragmatic education theories of philosopher John Dewey. Under this model, there is very little distinction drawn between exploring, learning, and playing. Much like under the rubric of the Montessori school, teachers attempt to facilitate or cultivate a child's interest in subjects by observing them and allowing them to learn at their own pace.

Deciding which sort of model of preschool is right for you and your child can be a difficult task. Hopefully, this brief guide has given you some idea of some alternative models to those that receive much more mainstream attention. It is highly recommended that you, if any of the models piqued your interest, that you take the time to contact a local preschool child care that operates on such a model at your convenience.