Maria Montessori, who lived in the 19th century, is one of the famous first female medical doctors in Italy. With the influence of his research on children and the intellectuals of his time, he turned to educational sciences and adopted the movement of “children in education”. Over time, he became one of the important educational figures of his time and today and created the Montessori education system. According to this system, which is based on the movement from the child in education, the duty of the teachers is only to be the guides who help the students. This thought formed the basis of Montessori’s understanding of education.
Unlike traditional education, the teacher does not take a dominant role and does not try to control the child’s every behavior.
In traditional education, students are always in the role of listeners. They don’t have much of a say. They are in the role of permanent students who only listen and do not research, do not question. One of the child’s most important motives, the “sense of curiosity”, gradually becomes dull. In Montessori education, however, the child is always in the role of asking questions, wondering, researching and discovering, not listening.
In Montessori education, the child learns by exploring, the role of the teacher is to observe the child’s tendencies and guide him to discover the world with incentives suitable for his character.
According to this understanding, children will discover the world in an environment prepared for them but not far from naturalness. In this safe environment, they will prepare for life by gaining a variety of experiences very close to the real world. Maria Montessori designs materials for children, which she calls ‘keys that open the world’, to be used in this natural environment.
The materials ensure that these experiences are easily learned by the child. Montessori education considers that movement is very important for the child and makes the activities suitable for children to move. The play environment is very important in Montessori education, because children do not play the game just to spend time or have fun, they discover the world and the environment they live in during the game. For this reason, the classroom environment should have the most favorable conditions for the child to play and the possibility of danger in the classroom should be minimized.
The goal of traditional education is to change the behavior of the student with the rules set and to memorize the imposed information by the student. Children often work in groups and are not allowed to move much.
However, in the Montessori system, which does not offend the rights and freedoms of the individual, the child learns by touching, trying, and seeing at his own pace, not by sitting and memorizing.
Montessori Education recognizes that every child has an inclination to learn. The criterion of success is not how much children learn compared to each other, but the happiness of the child in learning.
In the character of a child who learns and succeeds by himself, there is the self-confidence of a person who has realized his decisions and the happiness given by the feeling of success. There is no forcing the child to do anything, saying “let’s see it’s playtime, get up now it’s activity time”. On the other hand, the child who is not forced does not reflect his feelings to his environment with the reactions called “naughty”. Montessori’s goal is to give the child the ability to work on their own and to be independent, to reveal their academic interest and capacity and to make them productive, to provide a more free physical environment, to have one of each material, and to be patient and respectful to each other.