A few days ago we explained to you in Facebook that we are lovingly studying the creation of a space Montessori.

One of the things we have observed is that when we talk about the philosophy of María Montessori there are many doubts, concepts are mixed and the 'anything goes' appears. So that this does not happen and to start testing this new space that we want to launch, let's see what the differences are!

Montessori, Waldorf, Pikler - Characteristics

Perhaps the one that sounds most of all is the first. María Montessori managed to revolutionize education by not settling for what already existed. Today almost everything that has to do with a different education is labeled Montessori and that's where we were wrong. Surely you have already looked at more than a blog or instagram that proposes games, ways to prepare the baby's room or how to include in your home (kitchen, bathroom) specific elements and furniture for your child to investigate this type of pedagogies.

And since they all look a little alike, it is important to know how they differ, to try to clarify a little the doubts that may exist, to know what each method is and to whom it is addressed:



In this method the child is the center at the educational level. Is about guide, accompany the student in their own development. It is very important that the space where the baby / child develops (the house, the classroom) is prepared to be able to freely experience what catches his attention or what he wants. In this way they decide what to play with. The spaces Montessori are usually minimalist, neat, clean in this way it is easier for the child to experience from tranquility.

One of the premises of the Montessori philosophy is:  'The motivation itself is the trigger for this learning (at any age)'

  • Child-led education.
  • the proposals made are based on facts from reality and nature.
  • The material used is intended to acquire a skill, practice and move on to another activity with complete autonomy
  • Each material has a defined purpose.
  • The child decides what activity he performs at each moment, it is not imposed on him.
  • The spaces are changeable.
  • Imagination, symbolic play are less relevant.
  • From the preschool stage they are taught to be autonomous: eating alone, peeling fruit, washing clothes if they get dirty, buttoning / unzipping buttons and zippers…
  • Montessori is a method oriented to give more scientific or mathematical answers, since all of them. You will find books in the Montessori classroom but they are not fantastic stories, but books about knowledge (birds, forests, animals, etc.).




    Although many times we are mixed, Waldorf is very different from Montessori. Waldorf bases its learning on play. Game that will help develop the imagination. Free and symbolic play is the center of the child's education. Waldorf is identified by its colors, the rainbow, the mini-worlds (with which to build stories), rooms and environments like the ones we have at home (kitchens, sofas, beds). Empathy, creativity, the arts, movement and music are worked a lot.
    One of the premises of the Waldorf philosophy is: 'Knowledge is learned when the child is prepared for it. The guide observes the child to discover his qualities so that he can teach him what he needs when the time is right for him ' 
  • Education focused on children taking into account their age and the type of learning that works best for them
  • Brightly colored toys (Waldorf rainbow)
  • Stimulate creativity, imagination (Mini-worlds to create stories that foster creativity)
  • Working in a group is your preference.
  • The materials used do not have a defined purpose, the child can assign different uses.
  • They do not use screens of any kind.
  • We work with stories and tales to finish explaining a real event.

“Trying to teach a child something he can learn for himself is not only useless. Also harmful ”, Emmi Pikler.

In this case Pikler shares with Montessori the search for the autonomy of the little one, only in this case the movement is what will lead them to achieve it. This method is very useful at the stage when babies are not yet walking. Stairs, drawers, small ramps, higher steps, in short, small furniture that allows children to move to develop their motor skills.

Movement must be free with what hammocks, positioners, etc. are prohibited. Pikler's work has always focused on spontaneous motor development, ensuring that if certain conditions are met in space, children reach proper motor development.

The basic premise of the Pikler is: 'The guide does not teach movement nor does it help children to move and develop on their own initiative.' 


  • The adult observes the child from patience, calm and always respecting his rhythm.
  • There is no need to intervene in the baby's movements.
  • The baby is wanted to be free, active and autonomous.
  • The materials used are aimed at promoting baby's movement
  • That the children they learn alone to sit, move and walk without the need to encourage him to do so and take him by the hand.

As you can see they are very different pedagogies between them, but they also have Common things, for example:

  • None of these methods are as new as believed.. Waldorf (1919), Montessori (1907) and Pikler (1930) are pedagogies with extensive experience that have been applied for decades.
  • They think that children have enormous potential from birth.
  • Are active forms of education that involve the baby / child in the life of the homer. Just as families also intervene in the process of training and development of children.
  • The adult is a respectful companion. It does not project expectations on the child. You don't expect anything from him. Respect their individuality and personality.
  • Free play is encouraged without the intervention of the adult, which only observes to know the qualities of the child.
  • The child's needs are the engine of learning.
  • The freedom of the child is essentialand.
  • The two seek to feed body and mind (in Waldorf's case also soul). Education goes beyond the academic record and learning specific subjects. They advocate for a contribution of values and capacities for life. Looking for Form people. "Human beings", not "students".
  • There are no evaluations or grades.
  • They do not "override" the child's personality. They try to develop their special abilities, different in each child.
  • Great importance is attached to practical life (domestic) for children to develop their personal autonomy and they can become capable and self-sufficient adults.
  • Encourage greater contact with nature using natural materials like wood, bamboo, wool, silk, organic cotton. They avoid plastic as much as possible. Their materials are manipulative, without batteries, to maximize children's manual skills and the development of their imagination.
  • They believe that the baby / child's environment should be tailored to their needs and needs.


Sometimes the loss of protagonism of the adult usually causes:

  • fear of possible loss of authority
  • Absolute permissiveness leaving the child to do the whole process alone (without an observer)

However, nothing is further from reality. Over the years it has been shown that children tend to learn more from whom they respect and admire. They also learn much more when the adult trusts their abilities and builds their self-esteem by letting them do it for themselves.

Following an alternative methodology is not long live debauchery! In this type of pedagogy there are also rules such as: respect for oneself, the other and the environment. So it is very important that the child does not hurt himself, does not hurt and does not harm his space. In this way, the adult is not constantly using the 'no' that diminish the child's self-esteem and confidence.

What do you think of these alternative pedagogies? Do you practice any? Do you mix all of them? 

In the next post we will explain how to prepare the environments at home, stay tuned!



2 thoughts on “ Montessori, Waldorf, Pikler ¿Cuáles son sus diferencias? ”

  1. Hello: I wanted to tell you that none of the toys that you have put to illustrate the Pikler section are typical of its methodology, it is more the fabric ball is Montessori. You could put the Pikler ball or the Pikler scarf, or even the wooden structures for movement: labyrinth, triangle and ramp, drawer.

    1. Hi look, you're right. We believe that the most ideal is to make a new post with the indications you give us and much better contrasted. Thank you for your contribution, we will take it into account!

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