How does Montessori Approach work?
Montessori states that there are sensitive periods during which the child gains some skills and the teachers should be aware of these periods. The efficient education method during the sensitive periods optimizes the learning. Efficient education is related to setting the best environment.
These periods are divided into 5:
1. The period when the needed environment is set for the child
2. The period when the environment is explored through mouth and touching and language learning.
3. Walking period
4. Curiosity, interest and adornment toward objects period
5. The interest to the social aspects of life period.
The importance of set environment
Learning takes place in a well‐set environment. This aims to enable the child to be independent. After the teacher provides information, the child is free to choose the work, the materials on his own and produce on his own. This will result in learning independently.
Authenticity and naturality plays crucial roles in the Montessori approach. In a set environment, natural and functional tools should be used as much as possible. (Iron: heat, knife: cutting, glass: feeling, etc.) (Temel1994)
The second important factor is the order of the set environment. The child will complete the task with the materials he has chosen; no one will intervene; after the task is complete the materials will be put back into their places according to class order; the child will contribute to the order of the environment he is living in. This will develop responsibility and self‐discipline. The materials in the classroom have to be natural and authentic.
The peaceful environments will develop the child’s personal discipline. (Calvert, 1986)