Comparisons are sometimes made between Montessori schools and nurseries and Steiner kindergartens and schools. On the face of it they do have similarities.
Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner were near contemporaries in lifespans, both Europeans, and both studied in a range of fields. Both interested themselves in child development and education, and both their legacies survive today.
The Montessori method of educating children puts at the top of it’s priorities “inspiring” academic excellence, “nurturing” creativity and imagination and “awakening” the human potential. These buzz words are also found in Steiner schools, but here they have an altogether different meaning.
If you look in to what Steiner meant by such words as inspiring and awakening, it seems that in his esoteric “wisdom” they have their own special meanings, to do with spirituality.
The website below is written by a Montessori teacher, who has also had experience of Waldorf Steiner schools. It is interesting to find out how the two methods contrast, in the opinion of someone who knows both, and was disappointed with, and at times shocked by, Waldorf.