The Montessori Educational Method: Communication and Collaboration of Teachers with the Child

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Uslu Kocabaş H., Bavlı B.

Participatory Educational Research (PER), vol.9, no.1, pp.443-462, 2021 (Scopus)


Montessori learning environments, described as prepared environment, allow children to choose their work freely and construct their own learning. Because the child is in the center and the roles of the teacher differ from the roles of the teachers in traditional schools, the direction of the communication and collaboration between the child and the teacher is determined accordingly. This study aims at examining the practices of Montessori teachers in communication and collaboration with the child. A phenomenological approach was adopted in the study. Purposive snowball sampling was employed to identify 12 Montessori preschool teachers. A focus group interview and semi-structured interviews were used to obtain data. The obtained data were transcribed and analyzed through the content analysis method. The findings were examined under three main themes, which are “the communication of the teacher with the child”, “the collaboration between the teacher and the child” and “the difficulties Montessori teachers face in communication and collaboration with the child”. The study showed that teachers’ communication approach was based on respect for the child. When communicating with the child, teachers adopted a guidance role. However, teachers’ practices in communication deviated from Montessori philosophy in case of conflict and undesired behaviors. Support from the child’s peers, involving the children in forming class rules, giving children responsibility, and collaboration in learning were the main subjects that maintain collaboration with the child. Besides, study findings indicated that Montessori teachers faced some difficulties in communication and collaboration with the child. The results of this study imply that the communication and collaboration practices of Montessori teachers and the Montessori philosophy are mostly in line but can contradict in some cases.