Views on Montessori Approach by Teachers Serving at Schools Applying the Montessori Approach

Sibel ATLI1, A.Merve KORKMAZ2, Taskin TASTEPE3 and Aysel KOKSAL AKYOL4
1Yuzuncu Yil Unuversity, Faculty of Education
2Bilkent University, Bilkent Laboratory & International School
3Ankara University, Faculty of Health Science
4Ankara University, Faculty of Health Science

Problem Statement:  Further studies on Montessori teachers are required on the grounds that the Montessori approach, which, having been applied throughout the world, holds an important place in the alternative education field. Yet it is novel for Turkey, and there are only a limited number of studies on Montessori teachers in Turkey.
Purpose of Study: The aim was to investigate views on the Montessori approach by the teachers who serve at the schools applying the Montessori approach.
Methods: Research data was collected by the basic qualitative research, one of the qualitative research methods. Descriptive analysis method was used in analysis of the qualitative data. Nine teachers serving at three different schools in Ankara province applying Montessori approach were interviewed.
Findings and Results:  Eight main themes were determined upon data analysis; namely, education on Montessori approach, basic qualities required for teachers applying Montessori approach, adequacy of education on Montessori approach, in-service training on the challenges experienced by Montessori teachers, plans of teachers for self-development, following existing studies in Turkey on Montessori approach, views on studies on Montessori approach, and views on the criticisms towards Montessori approach.
Conclusions and Recommendations: All teachers confirmed that they internalized the approach upon training in line with Montessori philosophy. They emphasized that they received training covering all the educational fields, yet the implementation dimension was inadequate due to training without the involvement of children. Furthermore, they suggested that all the schools in Turkey were opened by commercial motives, and as such these schools failed to comply with the standards of the institutions providing education on the basis of Montessori approach. They asserted that all criticisms towards Montessori approach would be proved to be groundless upon implementation of the approach. It was seen that experienced supervisors, in-service training, and scientific studies on Montessori approach were required. 

Keywords: Alternative education, Montessori approach, Montessori teacher, early childhood education.