Montessori private schools focus on self-directed, independent learning and the development skills that go beyond the focus on logical and mathematical intelligence in conventional schools, including decision-making, creativity, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence and linguistic abilities.
Most provide bilingual English-French education. Many, such as the Montessori House Brussels on Avenue de Tevuren and the Montessori Children's House in Uccle, only teach early primary school for children from 2.5 to six years of age. Others, like the European Montessori School, welcome children from 15 months to 13 years old.
There is little in the way of Montessori education for secondary school, as it was not part of Dr Montessori’s original design. However, the International Montessori School in Tervuren transitions students from Montessori education into an International Baccalaureate programme from ages 11 to 18.
Steiner theory takes a humanistic approach to education, holistically blending intellectual, practical and artistic development and underscoring the role of imagination in learning.
There are some two dozen Steiner kindergartens and elementary schools in Belgium, both Flemish and French-speaking. Brussels Steiner School is a Flemish-speaking school in Anderlecht.
Other alternative schools
In Ghent, the Sudbury School is a Dutch-speaking school for children ages four to 18 that uses the Sudbury model coming out of the US. In this approach, students take responsibility for their own education and the school is run by direct democracy with staff and students set as equals.
In Laeken another so-called “method school” is the Freinet School, which is subsidised by the Flemish government and teaches from the perspective of the child learner.
Likewise, one of the oldest alternative schools is De Weide (“the meadow”) in Erpe, East Flanders, which has existed since 1973. This Dutch-speaking experiemental nursery and primary school focuses on dialogue between children, parents and teachers to define the rules and terms of education.
Then there are schools like Ecole du Bois Sauvage in Ixelles and Le Labo in Schaerbeek, both French-speaking, which are specialised in supporting supports who require alternative learning structures to prepare for and pass their high school diploma assessments and university entry examinations. Le Labo, in particular, focuses on student athletes who want to develop in their sport while completing their required education.
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