Examination of the Effects of the Montessori Method on Preschool Children's Readiness to Primary Education

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examined the effects of the Montessori Method on preschool children's readiness to primary education. The research group is composed of five-six year olds attending SU MEF Ihsan Dogramaci Application Nursery School in 2009-2010 school year in Selcuklu county of Konya. The participants composed of five-six year olds were unbiasedly chosen. A total of 50 children were included in the study, 25 being in the experimental group and 25 being in the control group. In the study, Metropolitan Readiness Test was used to determine preschool school children's school readiness levels, B form of PKBS Preschool and Kindergarten Behavior Scale was used to determine preschool children's social skills, FTF-K attention gathering skills test for five-year old children was used to determine preschool children's attention gathering skills. The tests were administered to children before and after experimentation, and it was applied to experimental group again six weeks later. Mann Whitney U test and Wilcoxon signed-rank test were used to analyze the data. The general conclusion of the results obtained is that The Montessori Method makes positive contribution to preschool children's readiness to primary school and is more efficient than current preschool education program.

Key Words

Preschool Education, the Montessori Method, Readiness to Primary Education.

Preschool period is very important in human life and education in this period affects the life of child in the future (Aral, Kandir, & Can Yasar, 2001). Qualified pre-school education is a must for the revelation of child's skills, meeting his basic needs and his gaining of basic habits and their best preparation for (Zembat, 2005). One of the most important objectives of pre-school education is to prepare the child for primary school. Readiness for primary education which is also called school maturity or readiness to school means that the child is ready to meet physical, mental and social requirements of primary education (Güler, 2001). Readiness means the acquisition of prerequisite behaviors for the realization of certain instructional activities (Ülgen, 1997). According to Koçyigit (2009), readiness to school is a concept which can vary from one child to another and can be completed at different ages, balanced maturation of child with significant background in all development areas and child's ability to show all properties required for learning to take place. Although the concept of school readiness is used to mean learning to read, children' general social development and intellectual developments are to be considered as a part of school readiness (Unutkan, 2003). Child's having qualities required from those starting primary education and especially being ready to learn to read is a very complex and multi-dimensional phenomenon. The concept of readiness confined to being ready to learn by various researchers includes various factors in line with the views of any researcher and author (Oktay, 1999). Generally, it is argued that visual maturity, ability to distinguish colors, visual memory, hand-eye coordination, aural discrimination/hearing, social and emotional factors and attention length are important in pres-school classed (Güven, 1991). Various researchers list many factors for readiness, Oktay (1999) points out physical factors, mental factors, and emotional factors, social and environmental factors are attention-grabbing.

Studies on this issue indicate that parents and pre-school education institutions hold the greatest responsibility for the child's preparation to primary school. The skills child acquires in pre-school period form the basis for the skills children will acquire later in life. The deficiencies in the development of child in 0-6 year old can hardly be dealt with in periods ahead. In this sense, pre-school education institutions and pre-school education programs followed in these institutions has a great importance for preparing children for primary education (Boz, 2004; Esaspehlivan, 2006; Koçyiðit, 2009; Kotil, 2005; Tuðrul, 1992; Ülkü, 2007). …