Developed by Maria Montessori, who was the first female doctor in Italy, Montessori Education is a collaborative game-based method that allows students to discover themselves. For his interest in human development, Dr. Montessori is appointed by the state to manage the Orthophrenic School in Rome. While working here, the Montessori education system, which he developed by examining the education of children with mental and emotional problems, had a great impact.
In 1907, he opened his first class in a children’s house called Casa dei Bambini, which he rented in Rome, and implemented his own education system. In 1929, he founded the International Montessori Association (AMI), both supporting the training of teachers and spreading the education method to the world.
You can review the rest of the article to have detailed information about the Montessori education system, how it is applied, what it brings and its benefits.
When Does Montessori Education Start?
Montessori education is a special method that respects the interests of children and is prepared in accordance with their individual learning speed and personality traits. It supports the learning of children from birth until the age of 12.
Montessori program covers 3 main groups as 0-3 years old, 3-6 years old, 6-12 years old:
0-3 Years Infancy Period:
It provides an interesting and nurturing environment for the development of babies during this period when their sense of curiosity is at their highest. It helps to build self-confidence and self-confidence, and to gain sensory-motor skills and language development.
3-6 Years Preschool-Kindergarten Period:
Montessori preschool education, where social development, self-discovery and creativity are at the forefront, provides mathematical understanding and awareness of responsibility.
6-12 Age Primary Education Period:
At this age, children try to explore the universe with their imagination and reasoning. It encourages children to understand their role in society, learn about their own culture and the world, by telling human history with engaging stories or integrating them with different topics. It supports personal development to develop imagination and intellectual independence. It also guides them to discover and develop their own interests, as well as music, art, drama.
How is Montessori Education Applied?
Montessori education can be applied at home as well as at school. The important thing is to have the right environment prepared. In this context, children freely choose materials suitable for their own developmental level according to their individual interests. During the education, the task of the adult or the trainer is to enable the child to discover his/her talents and to support the development process.
Montessori education model aims to realize the child’s own mistake and correct it himself. In addition, Montessori schools offer the child the opportunity to play with the material of his choice whenever he wants. Events can be individually, in pairs, in small or large groups.
The classroom has no center of focus, the place, table or garden is suitable for education. As long as the children do not harm themselves or others, the instructor does not intervene. The main task of the trainer is to guide and guide students by examining and recognizing their individual differences.
What Is Used in Montessori Practices?
When Montessori studies are examined, besides wooden and natural toys, every item in the house can be used as educational material. The important thing is that the item used is suitable for the physical and emotional development of the child. For example, using beads or buttons for young children can be dangerous. However, ring tossing, wooden cubes, plastic bottles, or find-and-click games are ideal for developing small children’s hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
In addition, children can be given tasks such as peeling fruits and picking peas in the kitchen, and their sensory development such as taste and smell can be supported and they can gain a sense of responsibility. Visual memory cards have an important place in children’s cognitive development in number matching and simple four operations. The Montessori education system, which starts at home by the parents from birth and continues at the school, enables the child to discover himself and his environment by living.
What Does Montessori Education Bring to the Child?
The Montessori Method enables children and adolescents to gain gains in all areas of cognitive, emotional, social and physical development.
Education starting from birth creates self-confidence, self-discipline and awareness in the child and gives a love of lifelong learning.
Each child’s learning method and pace is different. In this context, an individual program and learning plan is prepared for each child under the guidance of the teacher.
In preschool Montessori classrooms, students from different age groups learn to respect each other and produce peaceful solutions from conflicts by socializing.
Children who receive Montessori education learn to be free within limits.
Unlike traditional education, applied learning is at the forefront in Montessori, and an education in which the student is active is aimed by enabling students to discover the answer themselves.
Benefits of Montessori Toys and Materials
Montessori toys are silent, few but functional toys that support the education system developed by Maria Montessori. It allows children to discover their own world and reveal their talents. Because Montessori toys are so versatile and creative, they can turn into anything a child wants them to be. It all depends on the child’s own imagination. Wood is generally preferred in Montessori toys because of its natural, healthy and durable structure. Studies have shown that natural wood has a calming effect on children. Wooden toys provide attention and concentration because they are silent. The most preferred montessori toys and their benefits:
It helps children create their own living spaces by using wooden tables and chairs suitable for their height in Montessori classrooms.
Wooden geometric blocks and colored cubes enable children to learn shapes and colors, and also support the development of pattern making, balancing, hand and eye coordination, and motor skills.
Animal figures and puzzle toys are useful for recognizing animals, vocabulary and completing pieces.
Cylinders with handles, which are the most popular among Montessori toys, develop mathematical skills, hand-eye coordination, muscle development, internal discipline and visual memory skills in children.