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Thesis

Autism in Early Childhood Education Montessori Environments: Parents' and Teachers' Perspectives

Available from: Auckland University of Technology - Institutional Repository

Australasia, Australia and New Zealand, Autism, Special education, Children with disabilities, Montessori method of education, New Zealand, Oceania, Parent and child, Parent-teacher relationships, Special education, Teacher-student relationships

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Abstract/Notes: There is very little research about children with Autism in Montessori early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study examined parents’ and teachers’ perspectives of children with Autism attending Montessori early childhood education environments. This thesis documents literature that explores and critiques Montessori philosophy and the teaching of children on the Autism spectrum. The purpose of this study was to gain insights into the Montessori teaching approach in early childhood education, as a supportive environment for children with Autism in the early years. However, I discovered that the Montessori environment is less than ideal if the teachers do not understand Autism Spectrum Disorder and do not make allowances for the symptoms that present themselves. It was my intention to explore the factors that complemented both Montessori and the support of children with Autism with an approach that is conducive to learning and encourages positive behavioural patterns. The findings revealed three main indicators being identified as important. These were social competence, language and communication, and individual interests and sensory implications. However, not all findings were positive. The parents all agreed that the teachers needed to be flexible and understanding in their approach, and many Montessori teachers are strict in their routine and are not prepared to sway from their teaching method to assist a child with Autism. This study suggests that Montessori early childhood teachers would benefit from professional development in the areas of including children with special needs, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly in regards to understanding the unique characteristics of children with Autism and how they can effectively use the Montessori philosophy, equipment and prepared environment to support each child’s learning and development. Suggestions for future professional learning for Montessori teachers include the provision of professional development in including children with “special needs”, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder for Montessori early childhood teachers. It is not only the Montessori philosophy and the prepared environment that supports the child with Autism, but the teacher’s awareness of the child’s needs and a willingness to be flexible in their approach.

Language: English

Published: Auckland, New Zealand, 2015

Article

Children’s Preference for Real Activities: Even Stronger in the Montessori Children’s House

Available from: University of Kansas Libraries

Publication: Journal of Montessori Research, vol. 4, no. 2

Pages: 1-9

Americas, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: In the United States, children are often given the opportunity to engage in pretend activities; many believe this kind of play benefits children’s development. Recent research has shown, though, that when children ages 4 to 6 are given a choice to do the pretend or the real version of 9 different activities, they would prefer the real one. The reasons children gave for preferring real activities often concerned their appreciation of the functionality; when children did prefer pretend activities, their reasons often cited being afraid of, not allowed to, or unable to do the real activity. Given that children in Montessori classrooms have more experience performing real, functional activities, in this study we asked if this preference for real activities is even stronger among children in Montessori schools. We also asked children to explain their preferences. The data are from 116 3- to 6-year-old children (M = 59.63 months, SD = 12.08 months; 68 female): 62 not in Montessori schools and 54 in Montessori schools. Children explained their preferences for pretendand real versions of 9 different activities. Children in Montessori schools preferred real activities even more than did children in other preschools, but all children explained their choices in similar ways. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to play in preschool classrooms.

Language: English

DOI: 10.17161/jomr.v4i2.7586

ISSN: 2378-3923

Article

President Wilson's Daughter to Aid Mme. Montessori Show Her System

Available from: Library of Congress

Publication: The Sun (New York) (New York City, NY)

Pages: 6

Americas, Maria Montessori - Biographic sources, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: The Montessori movement, considered by many a radical departure from traditional educational methods, will receive new emphasis and publicity from the fact that visitors to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition will see during the months of August, September, October and November not only a demonstration of the Montessori system but will see it conducted by the talented woman herself. Associated with her will be Miss Margaret Wilson, daughter of the President, Dr. David Starr Jordan, chancellor of Leland Stanford Junior University, and other well known educators. The Montessori method has been summed up as 'freedom for development of the child under best conditions disturbing as little as possible but helping buy every means this development.' Any estimate of Mme. Montessori's work to be of practical value will involve a comparison between the Montessori method and that of the kindergarten, since the kindergarten is the only system of organizes educational work for young children that has so far received general recognition. In the middle of the last century the sensitive woman soul and philosophic mind of Froebel grasped the fundamental principle of development and say that the first six or seven years are the most important in the life of the individual. After years of study he embodied what he conceived to be the fundamental principles of the education of little children in what is known as the kindergarten, and his ideas of the best means for the application of these principles in his kindergarten program, materials and devices. The discovery of the kindergarten marked a new era in the history of the educational world. Though suppressed for years by government authority in Germany, and received with much suspicion elsewhere, the kindergarten has become an integral part of the public school system of many cities and States in our country. Its introduction into England was championed by Charles Dickens, and in America it found an advocate in the philosopher and educator Dr. William T. Harris. Concerning the kindergarten and the Montessori methods, Dr. P. P. Claxton, United States Commissioner of Education says: 'Though aims and principles are the same for both Froebel and Montessori, their different methods of approach have resulted in difference in emphasis, program and decides. For those who see no further than the form there is apparent conflict. Many cannot understand that the work of both Froebel and Montessori must finally lose each its distinctive characteristics in the larger whole of a more perfect knowledge of the nature of infancy and the means of educating young children.' It must be said of Dr. Montessori that she is first, last and always scientific in her work. Prolonged training in the sciences that relate to human life, vitalized by practical experience in their application to defective children, gave her a method which is the outcome of genius, training and experience. She swung into prominence, against her wish, in the following way: While serving as assistant doctor at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome, Italy, she founder herself differing from her colleagues in that she felt, as she says, 'that mental deficiency presented chiefly a pedagogic rather than mainly a medical problem.' The expression of these views in an address brought Dr. Montessori prominently before the Minister of Public Instruction, and her work from this on assumed a public character. Her belief that the methods employed with deficient children 'contained educational principles more rational than those in use and that if applied to normal children they would develop or set free their personality in a marvelous and surprising way,' became her controlling idea, and is the very heart of the Montessori system. The system of Mme. Montessori is indissolubly joined with her famous 'didactic material.' Among this will be found small wooden frames to which are attached pieces of cloth or leather on which are buttons and buttonholes, hooks and eyes, eyelets and lacing cords, and strings to be tied and untied. There are also boxes of cylindrical insets and other simple devices to develop 'man's mystery over nature.' Mme. Montessori is her best interpreter when she says, 'We are inclined to believe that children are like puppets and we wash them and feed them as if they were dolls. We do not stop to think that the child that does not do does not know how to do. Our duty is that of helping him to make a conquest of such useful acts as nature intended he should perform for himself. The mother who feeds her child without making the least effort to teach him to hold the spoon for himself and to try to find his mouth with it is not a wise mother. She treats her son as though he were a doll. We call an individual disciplined when he is master of himself and can regulate his own conduct when it shall be necessary to follow some rule of life. If any educational act is to be efficacious it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks. It is of course understood here that we do not speak of a useless or dangerous act; this must be suppressed, destroyed.' The Montessori doctrine is therefore in substance that the child's inner self or personalit cannot rightfully develop unless free to express itself undirected and unguided by another person. As a consequence Dr. Montessori insists that each child be allowed bodily freedom and have as much unhampered liberty of action as possible in order that he may fully express his inner life in outer activity. The classic illustration by which Dr. Montessori puts in concrete form her doctrine is the following: 'One day the children had gathered in a circle about a basin of water containing some floating toys. A little boy 2 1/2 years old had been left outside the circle. He drew near to the other children and tried to force his way among them, but he was not strong enough to do this. The expression of thought on his face was intensely interesting. His eyes then lighted upon a little chair and he had evidently made up his mind to place it behind the group of children and climb on it. As he began to move toward the chair, his face illuminated with hope, a teacher seized him in her arms, lifted him above the heads of the other children, showed him the basin of water, saying, 'Come poor little one you shall see too.' The child seeing the floating toys did not experience the joy that he was about to feel through conquering the obstacles with his own force. The teacher hindered the child in this case from educating himself. The little fellow was about to feel himself a conqueror, and instead he found himself held within two imprisoning arms impotent.' The now famous 'House of the Children' in Rome, under the patronage of Queen Margherita, faithfully reflects and demonstrates the Montessori principles and methods. It has been described as an old orphan asylum, whose gray outer walls give no idea of the two beautiful and luxuriant courtyards within. These latter are filled with beds of blossoming plans, and the pillars of the inner porch are covered with clinging vines. The schoolroom in which the class for the children is held opens with wide double doors into one of these lovely courtyards, where the children play during hours in which they are not engaged in their Montessori exercises. Miss Elizabeth Harrison, president of the National Kindergarten Union says of this 'House of the Children': 'On my first visit I found the children busy getting out the 'didactic material' with which they were to employ themselves for the next hour and a quarter. Some came forward to shake hands with me; some merely smiled and nodded and did not interrupt their work. All seemed busy, happy and free. I afterward saw as many as eighty visitors in the room where there were only a dozen children, but none of the children were in the least disturbed by or seemingly conscious of the presence of the visitors. Most of the children came from nearby tenement houses, yet even the youngest of them washed their own hands and faces, put on clean, neat calico aprons and looked as fresh and clean as children from well cared for homes.' Comparing the kindergarten and the Montessori systems, the following differences appear: The kindergarten stresses group activities, while the Montessori system emphasized almost exclusively the development of the individual. The kindergartners say that education in coordinating of muscles, the special training of the child's senses and all such phases of individual development are expected to come in the nursery. The Montessori system has no place for stories; the kindergartners are famous for them. Mme. Montessori objects to stories for young children on the theory that all activities of the mind are derived from the outside world and are dependent on sense impressions, and that therefore the child should be kept within the realm of his own personal experience until he is at least 7 or 8 years old. It is not necessary to add that two __ meet at this point of difference. The most remarkable features of the Montessori system, as well as one of its decided points of divergence from the kindergarten, lies in its ___ of definite attitude on religious training. Froebel, trained in an environment where instruction in religion is practically nationwide, says that while the child unconsciously manifests teh divine impuse within him he must follow it with conscious insights persisting in what he knows to do right and must needs have definite training of this kind. Montessori, on the other hand, with nuns as her assistants and attendants in her 'House of the Children,' acknowledges the importance of religious training for little children, 'but confesses that as yet it is an unsolved problem to her.' Miss Harrison, who spent some time in Rome with Mme. Montessori says, 'She [Montessori] seems to feel that a child's spiritual nature will ___ aright if freedom is given ....

Language: English

Article

Comparison of Sudoku Solving Skills of Preschool Children Enrolled in the Montessori Approach and the National Education Programs

Available from: Red Fame

Publication: Journal of Education and Training Studies, vol. 8, no. 3

Pages: 32-47

Asia, Comparative education, Middle East, Turkey, Turkey, Western Asia

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Abstract/Notes: According to Johnson-Laird (2010), sudoku, a mind game, is based on a pure deduction and reasoning processes. This study analyzed sudoku solving skills of preschool children and to ascertain whether there was a difference between children who were educated according to the Ministry of Education preschool education program and the Montessori approach. Sudoku skills of children were analyzed by gender, age, duration of preschool attendance, mother’s and father’s education level and previous experience of playing sudoku using a 12-question Sudoku Skills Measurement Tool developed for this research study. The study sample of the study consisted of 118 children (57 girls, 61 boys) aged between 54-77 months. The findings showed that there was no significant difference in sudoku skills by gender. However, sudoku skills varied with age (54-65 months and 66-77 months) in favor of older groups. Children's sudoku skills were more developed with an increase in education level of either parent. Children who had been in preschool for longer had higher sudoku scores. A previous experience of playing sudoku did not impact sudoku scores. Sudoku skills of children who were educated according to the Montessori program were more developed compared to those of children educated according to Ministry of National Education program.According to Johnson-Laird (2010), sudoku, a mind game, is based on a pure deduction and reasoning processes. This study analyzed sudoku solving skills of preschool children and to ascertain whether there was a difference between children who were educated according to the Ministry of Education preschool education program and the Montessori approach. Sudoku skills of children were analyzed by gender, age, duration of preschool attendance, mother’s and father’s education level and previous experience of playing sudoku using a 12-question Sudoku Skills Measurement Tool developed for this research study. The study sample of the study consisted of 118 children (57 girls, 61 boys) aged between 54-77 months. The findings showed that there was no significant difference in sudoku skills by gender. However, sudoku skills varied with age (54-65 months and 66-77 months) in favor of older groups. Children's sudoku skills were more developed with an increase in education level of either parent. Children who had been in preschool for longer had higher sudoku scores. A previous experience of playing sudoku did not impact sudoku scores. Sudoku skills of children who were educated according to the Montessori program were more developed compared to those of children educated according to Ministry of National Education program.

Language: English

DOI: 10.11114/jets.v8i3.4620

ISSN: 2324-8068

Article

Dr. Montessori Aims to Aid Poor: Italian Educator Says Their Children Are More Eager to Learn

Available from: Library of Congress

Publication: New York Tribune (New York City, NY)

Pages: 6

Americas, Margaret Naumburg - Biographic sources, Maria Montessori - Biographic sources, Montessori method of education, Montessori schools, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: "Yesterday the Dottoressa Maria Montessori held the first conference with her pupils in America. It was at the Children's House, 520 East Seventy-seventh Street. The Children's House is one of the thirty Montessori schools which have sprung up in New York during the last three years. The conference was impressive. The great Italian teacher greeted her pupils, her disciples , if you like, with delight and apparent amazement at the development of her work in New York. "This beautiful house of the children!" She cried. "You have so much here; in Italy we cannot give the children all this, we have it not to give, but little is much when children are free." Her work is growing fast in Italy. In the districts which have been devastated by the earthquakes twelve schools have been established. "I have now developed a method of educating children from five to ten years old. By it they learn reading, writing, arithmetic very easily - but especially nature, science, the languages. Then they are ready to enter the high schools, I believe you call it. Two years are saved in the school life of every child. My elementary methods have been put into sixteen schools in Italy. Signorini Maccheroni is training teachers and opening our schools in Spain." Miss Anne E. George, who introduced Dr. Montessori's work into this community, asked how Montessori teachers in the United States could learn the methods for older pupils. "Signorina Fidele might come here and supervise the elementary classes which you form." "But you, Dottoressa," exclaimed Margaret Naumberg, "why won't you stay and help us?" Dr. Montessori didn't say she would, but I noticed particularly that she didn't say she wouldn't. She is now on her way to California, where she will give a four months' course in Montessori methods in Los Angeles and San Diego. Her latest book, describing her work with older children, will be published in the fall. "Now, that is all my news, and I want to hear what you are doing. I want always to keep in close touch with you and with your work. Tell me what you are doing." Mrs. A. Reno Margulies, of 534 West 187th Street, told of her work with deaf and backward children. Miss George spoke of hers. "Ah," said Dr. Montessori, "but are you not working with the children of the well-to-do? Tell me what you are doing for the children of the poor." Miss Zoé Bateman, secretary of the Montessori Association, explained that the Children's House in which the conference was held was a free school, supported by contributions. "It is very hard to get the work taken up by the public schools," said Margaret Naumberg. "We have just secured permission to establish a class in Public School 4. It was only possible because of the enthusiasm of the principal, Simon Hirsdansky, for Dr. Montessori's work. "Until the work is developed by the Board of Education it cannot be carried very far among the poor, for teachers must live as well as teach." "It is easier to teach the children of the poor," said Dr. Montessori. "They are more eager to learn." "Oh, no" cried her pupils in chorus, "The children who have better homes, better food and better care learn much faster than the poorer children." "I had a group of poor children last winter, and a group of well-to-do children this winter," said Margaret Naumberg, "and the latter learned in six weeks more than the former learned in a year.""

Language: English

ISSN: 1941-0646

Report

The Evaluation and Implications of Research with Young Handicapped and Low-Income Children at the Institute for Research on Exceptional Children at the University of Illinois

Available from: ERIC

Americas, Children with disabilities, Inclusive education, North America, Poor children, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: This study to determine effects of preschool training of mentally retarded children from low-income families asks three major questions: 1. Does preschool training displace the rate of development of such children? 2. Does rate of growth continue at an accelerated rate, or does it return to the original rate of development during primary school years? 3. Are the results similar for children living in different environments? Five intervention programs are outlined: 1. Traditional nursery school; 2. Community Integrated program; 3. The Montessori method; 4. Karnes structured cognitive plan; and 5. The Bereiter-Englemann(B-E). As a result of the program, some children in the demonstration center no longer function in the retarded range. Behavior has improved and several have entered a public school or preschool for normal children. It is suggested that mothers of infants might accomplish more at home with guidance, since professional tutoring is not feasibly practical, and children with higher IQ need special early programming to attain their potential. (RG)

Language: English

Published: Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, 1973

Article

Montessori: A Promising Practice for Young Learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Available from: ProQuest

Publication: Montessori Life, vol. 31, no. 4

Pages: 38-47

Autism in children, Children with disabilities, Inclusive education

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Abstract/Notes: The National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (n.d.) estimates that 5,000 Montessori programs, including more than 500 public schools, serve students in the United States. Though no statistics have been compiled on the number of children with autism in Montessori settings, children with autism comprise 9% of children and youth served through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (The United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). [...]the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) states that the number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is increasing. Research comparing preschool-age children in Montessori learning environments with children in nonMontessori settings showed higher scores on math and literacy assessments for the Montessori children, as well as social skills, problem solving, and fine motor coordination (Lillard, 2012; Bhatia, Davis & Shamas-Brandt, 2015).

Language: English

ISSN: 1054-0040

Master's Thesis (M. Health Studies)

Montessori and Autism: An Interpretive Description Study

Available from: Athabasca University - Institutional Repository

Autism in children, Children with disabilities, Inclusive education

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Abstract/Notes: The rates of autism have increased dramatically in the last decade and more research is being conducted to find ways in which to help individuals diagnosed with autism, to function at their optimal developmental level. Montessori education, which has its origins in special education, has shown positive results in typically developing children and youth in the acquisition of cognitive and social skills. Montessori teachers who have practical experience working with a range of children on the autism spectrum were chosen for this study in order to learn from their teaching techniques. This is an area in which there is minimal research. In this research I asked the question “How do Montessori teachers adapt Montessori methods with children diagnosed with ASD?” An interpretive description methodology focused on the specific modifications participant teachers applied to the Montessori method when working with this identified group of students. This methodology will provide practical applications for Montessori teachers who do not have experience with children with ASD, as well as providing information for parents who are trying to decide whether or not to put their children with ASD in a Montessori learning environment. Keywords: autism, ASD, Montessori, interpretive description

Language: English

Published: Athabasca, Alberta, 2016

Article

Playing to Learn: An Overview of the Montessori Approach with Pre-school Children with Autism Spectrum Condition

Available from: Wiley Online Library

Publication: Support for Learning, vol. 31, no. 4

Pages: 313-328

Autism in children, Children with disabilities, Developmentally disabled children, Montessori method of education, Montessori method of education, Preschool children

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Abstract/Notes: This article explores some of the literature concerning the effectiveness of the Montessori educational approach for children with ASC within an English school context. Firstly, there is a discussion, including a short historical review, regarding the ideology of inclusion and how it has impacted upon mainstream education. Also, how this can be facilitated using play-based approaches such as Montessori. Secondly, various models of disability are identified in order to highlight how they have informed societal attitudes towards people with disabilities. There is a brief history of ASC detailing how a child with this disability may be affected on a daily basis and the effectiveness of alternative play-based educational approaches such as Montessori in helping children with ASC to develop the appropriate skills they need in order to self-regulate and thus modify their behaviour. Furthermore, the value of play-based curriculums in supporting a child diagnosed with ASC throughout the learning process is also evaluated. The summary highlights the need for more evidence-based studies to be undertaken in order to assess whether the Montessori approach is a valid alternative in teaching pre-school children with ASC.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1111/1467-9604.12140

ISSN: 1467-9604

Doctoral Dissertation

Evidence Based Social Skills Interventions for Young Children with Asperger’s Syndrome and the Montessori Educational Method: An Integrative Review

Available from: University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Asperger's syndrome in children, Autism in children, Children with disabilities, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, People with disabilities

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Abstract/Notes: Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) is a medically recognized disorder on the Autism Spectrum. One in 88 children age eight are diagnosed with AS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 2014). A key feature of AS is a deficiency in social skills. In the past ten years five main types of social skills interventions have been researched for their impact on young children with AS. Data suggest these treatments help children with AS acquire social skills. More research is needed on the types of learning environments that incorporate or lend themselves to utilizing these types of social skills interventions. One potential model, the Montessori Method of education was initially designed to teach children with significant developmental, social, and educational disabilities, with an intentional focus on individualized learning and socialization. To date, the potential overlap between empirically supported interventions to teach social skills to children with AS and the Montessori Method of education has not been researched. A comprehensive literature review was conducted to compare five researched interventions for social skill acquisition in children with AS with the Montessori Method of education. Findings suggest that of these five interventions, three bear significant resemblance to the Montessori Method of education while the other two do not. Implications and recommendations for parents, teachers, educational administrators, and social workers and other mental health practitioners who assist children with AS are provided.

Language: English

Published: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2014

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