8 Teachers Who Had a Huge Impact on World History

best teachers in the history

Teaching all over the world is defined as one of the most sacred professions. Teachers have a very big role in education and training for life, which starts at an early age. What makes the teaching profession so sacred is touching the lives of students as well as providing knowledge to them. There are some teachers whose names are engraved in history in golden letters, thanks to the path they had paved and the goals that they had set! Let’s get to know the 8 teachers who have left a great mark on world history, whom our teachers, who have an inestimable value in our hearts, take as examples.

1. Despite the Obstacles: Anne Sullivan

It is an undeniable fact that teachers have an impact on the generations that they raise. Anne Sullivan was a teacher who was dedicated to education and adopted an innovative teaching style. She lost much of her vision when she was only five years old but with the operations she underwent later, her vision improved slightly.

Sullivan met Helen Keller, who would later become a famous pedagogue. Helen Keller was a little girl who lost her sight and hearing and became mute.  Her life changed when her mother hired Anne Sullivan as her teacher!

In order to communicate with Helen, Anne Sullivan first teaches her to write with her fingers. While she gives an object to Helen’s hand and allows her to recognize it, she writes the name of that object with her fingers on the other hand. As a result of the education that she had received in the following years, Helen became the first visually and hearing-impaired person to obtain the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Teacher Anne, who opened a new page in her student’s life in this way, is still remembered for the method that she used today. The Black and its Turkish adaptation, Benim Dünyam, were also inspired by the life of Helen Keller.

2. The First Teacher: Aristotle

Aristotle, who is called “The First Teacher” and is known for his contributions to the world of philosophy, has always emphasized the importance of education and teachers. The Greek philosopher, who is known to have founded his own school called “Lykeion” in Athens, made a great contribution to the development of education during his lifetime and even afterward.

Arguing that the primary responsibility of teachers is to allow children to learn naturally, by making mistakes, Aristotle emphasizes how much he values teachers with his famous quote: “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well”

3. Groundbreaker in Education: Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori, whose education method is frequently used to this day and directs the philosophy of education, was educated as the only female student at a teacher training school in Italy in 1870. Montessori, who opened a childcare center in Rome after receiving her doctorate degree and applied educational methods that shaped the era, had an extraordinary ability to observe and evaluate.

Maria Montessori realized that children could learn the best through activity and developed methods to achieve this. Creating an environment that will contribute to children’s learning processes, the teacher created a suitable environment for the children by having appropriate tables and chairs that are made for them. In this way, Montessori, who supports her method with scientific methods, is one of the pioneers in the world of education with her materials that are taken from daily life and her approach that pays attention to each child!

4. Focuses on the Individual: Friedrich Fröbel

Friedrich Fröbel, who emphasized the importance of starting education early and made this view accepted, is a German educator. Fröbel, who discovered that the most important period of human brain development is between the ages of 0 and 3, continued his research on the child’s instincts and impulses.

In addition, the approach to education adopted by the German educator emphasized concepts such as love and tolerance, aiming to raise free and responsible individuals. He had the idea that the individual should discover their natural talents in a free environment under the guidance of teachers. With his approach emphasizing the relationship between nature and education, Fröbel is a name that pioneered the establishment of today’s kindergartens.

5. He Never Stops Fighting: Jaime Escalante

Jaime Escalante, whose name was mentioned in the book “America’s Best Teachers” published in 1988, had a combative approach to education. Escalante, who taught mathematics in his native Bolivia and the United States, was a name that successfully overcame very difficult situations in his professional life.

They had lost hope in students due to the prevalence of violence and substance abuse that occurred in the high school where he worked. However, the determined teacher made an effort to reveal the potential of his students by communicating one-on-one. Of the 33 students to whom he applied his unique mathematics teaching style, 30 of them had passed the AP Calculus exam which is an advanced mathematics test. In this way, Jaime Escalante received great recognition and won many awards.

6. A Social Reformer and Philanthropist: Savitribai Phule

Savitribai Phule was an educationist who devoted herself to educating women and low-caste people during the British rule in India. She holds the title of being the first female teacher to work in the first women’s school in India. Together with her husband, Jyotirao Govindrao Phule, who taught her to read and write and helped her to live her life as a woman, they built 18 schools throughout their lives. She was a social reformer, philanthropist, educator, and poet. Phule, who did a lot of work for education and the freedom of women despite all the obstacles, is honored with respect today.

7. Founder of the First Women’s Higher Education School: Emma Hart Willard

Emma Hart Willard, who received the best education of her time with her extraordinary curiosity and bright intelligence, became the principal of a girls’ academy in Middlebury in 1807. In 1819, Willard, who asked the New York State Legislature for assistance in establishing educational equality and education for women, led the establishment of the Troy Female Seminary, the first school in the United States to offer higher education to women, despite all obstacles. Emma Hart Willard, who performed in schools, helped improve the curriculum and created many textbooks, is still remembered with gratitude today.

8. Headmaster, The Great Leader: Mustafa Kemal Atatürk

Our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk had always wanted his country to develop in every aspect and worked immensely to achieve it, had also worked diligently for education with the reforms that he had made. The headmaster of the Turkish nation put an end to religion-based education and gathered all schools under the umbrella of the Ministry of National Education.

Adopting a contemporary and modern education approach, Atatürk carried out The Turkish Alphabet Revolution on November 1, 1928, enabling the country to integrate with the whole world. The headmaster and the teachers on leave, who gave importance to increasing the literacy level of the Turkish people, worked to teach the new alphabet to the public. After the opening of the Nation’s School on November 24, 1928, Atatürk was given the title of “Headmaster”. November 24, the anniversary of the granting of the title of Headmaster, is celebrated as “Teachers’ Day” in our country.

Striving for the prosperity of our country, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk continued his work all over the country and stayed in these cities. Room 101, where Atatürk had stayed at the historical Pera Palace Hotel during his Istanbul travels, was turned into a museum room on the 100th anniversary of our Great Leader Atatürk’s birth. Today, you can witness history and take a journey through time in a room that hosts thousands of visitors. You can contact the Atatürk Museum Room to visit Room No. 101, which bears traces of our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and to get more detailed information.


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