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102 results

Master's Thesis

Patterns of Concentration in Montessori Preschools: Investigating Concentration When Children are Free to Choose Their Own Work

Available from: University of Virginia

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Abstract/Notes: One key characteristic of Montessori classrooms is that children freely choose to engage with whatever they are most interested in. A common concern about Montessori is thus whether students will concentrate on their work throughout the day, and even whether they will actually choose to work at all. We completed 115 observations of children in Montessori Primary classrooms (ages 3-6), coding for children’s concentration and activity across two to three hours in the morning. The best fitting model of concentration across time was a quartic model, including age. This model indicated that 3-year-olds had two bouts of concentration, with a brief period of fatigue mid-morning. Four-year-olds showed an increased ability to concentrate across the entire morning, with minimal indication of fatigue. Five-year-olds showed a higher level of concentration than their younger peers, and were able to concentrate longer than the 3-year-olds, but this was followed by a period of fatigue. These findings are in line with Montessori theory, and suggest that children do freely choose to concentrate on their work. In regard to activities that children chose to do, we found children choose to spend a majority of the time engaged in work. Further, children distributed their time across all areas of the classroom, indicating that choice does not limit their exposure to any one area of learning.

Language: English

Published: Charlottesville, Virginia, 2020

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Montessori’s “Walking on the Line” Activity on Student Engagement and Concentration

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This paper investigates whether and to what degree Montessori’s “Walking on the Line” activity affected student engagement and concentration. This study took place in a private Montessori classroom serving twenty students, aged 33 months through five years. Data was collected using four tools on line usage, engagement, and concentration: a tally of how many times students walked the line, a tally measuring how engaged students appeared while working in the classroom, how long students concentrated following a lesson, and a professional journal. All but the line usage tool gathered baseline data five days before the intervention. Results were inconclusive. While overall student engagement and concentration rose, there was little to no correlation between number of times students walked on the line daily and engagement or concentration. I will continue to offer this activity while investigating additional activities to increase engagement and concentration.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2017

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Movement Interventions on Focus and Concentration in Toddler Montessori Classrooms

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this action research was to determine the effects of movement activities on focus and concentration in toddler Montessori classrooms. Evidence supports the connection between purposeful movement and levels of concentration. Both quantitative and qualitative data of three toddler-aged classes was collected through the use of a pre and post questionnaires, checklists and observational record keeping. The intervention took place over a period of six weeks at an independent school setting with 24 students ages 21 months to 3 years. The results showed the students focus and concentration levels increased during the Montessori uninterrupted morning work cycle when intentional movement lessons or activities were introduced. Based on the data, there is a correlation between movement intervention activities and concentration levels. Additional research should be conducted over an extended period of time to better study the effects of movement on focus, concentration, and behavior in the classroom.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2016

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Purposeful Physical Activity on Student Concentration in a Montessori Children’s House

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this action research was to determine the impact of purposeful gross-motor movements on student concentration in a Montessori Children’s House. The intervention took place over a period of eight weeks in a private Montessori school in a “Children’s House” of 20 primary aged children (ages 2.5 to 6). Data was collected using hourly observations of the concentration levels of the class as a whole prior to and after implementation; tally sheets reflecting daily use of movement materials, daily reflective journals, and interviews with the children. Results show concentration levels were positively affected by the use of the movement materials. Although there was not much change observed, the intervention appeared to help concentration levels remain more consistent throughout the work period. Further research might include the effects of movement materials on comprehension and decreasing undesirable classroom behaviors.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2016

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Using Nature-Based Space and Materials on the Children’s Concentration Levels in an Early Childhood Montessori Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This research study explored the effects of using nature-based space and materials on the children’s concentration levels in an early childhood Montessori environment. Nineteen 3-6-year-olds participated in the study for four weeks. The researcher designed and implemented two interventions, nature-based space and nature-based materials, inside an early childhood Montessori environment. The purpose was to holistically improve the children’s concentration levels by being exposed to a nature-based area and materials. The data collection process relied on four qualitative and quantitative data tools: tally sheets, general observational notes, rate sheets, and measurement notes. The data analyzed in this research study suggests exposing young children to both nature-based space and materials in the learning environment is beneficial to their concentration levels. Lastly, the researcher considers further investigation of the effects of being exposed to nature and technology on the children’s brain by using scientific devices to read and interpret the brain activity.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2020

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Outdoor Activity on Concentration

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project examined how the incorporation of outdoor activities impacted the concentration of children in a primary Montessori classroom. Twenty-one children, between the ages of three and six years old, participated in the research for six weeks. The researcher facilitated daily morning nature walks for the whole group, as well as, invited children to participate in individual and small group presentations on outdoor work. The researcher collected data using daily observational notes and observational tally sheets, a self-reflection journal, and a post-implementation student survey. The data numbers reflect an increase in concentration during the study. Pre-intervention, 72% of children showed signs of concentration and the average weekly percentage of children concentrating throughout the study was 87%. At a 13-17% increase, the change was substantial and reflects a positive outcome. The action plan concludes future researchers may consider incorporating fewer outdoor activities at once or extend the time frame of the intervention.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2019

Article

Strategies to Support Concentration

Available from: ERIC

Publication: NAMTA Journal, vol. 42, no. 2

Pages: 45-60

⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Annette Haines provides a comprehensive overview of concentration across the planes. She first lays the foundation for thinking about student engagement: It must be understood that concentration is found through the interest of the child, which is guided by the sensitive periods. When we understand the child's development in this way, we can offer the most likely "hooks" to catch the child's interest and create engagement. Haines offers examples of hooks at each plane. Along the way she weaves in the science of the brain to further enhance understanding of the development of the young child and to reinforce the "why" behind behavior. [This talk was presented at the NAMTA conference titled Finding the Hook: Montessori Strategies to Support Concentration, October 6-9, 2016, in Columbia, MD.]

Language: English

ISSN: 1522-9734

Article

Enacting Attention: Concentration and Shared Focus in Montessori Classrooms

Available from: ProQuest

Publication: Montessori Life, vol. 24, no. 4

Pages: 18-20,22-26

⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Concentration is a "sine qua non," a hallmark, of a Montessori Casa program. Yet, it happens that some children do not concentrate. They do not engage with the materials in the classic pattern of normalization. They are not challenged by ADD, ADHD, or a variant of sensory integration spectrum disorder. Instead of working alone, they prefer the company of others; they prefer to learn with others. One may wonder if their natural intelligence is interpersonal. Based on studies of brain development and findings from recent ethnographic research, this article describes a type of attention called "shared focus." Ethnographic research was conducted in Casa classrooms, located in four Montessori schools, during a 3-year period, beginning in 2008. The research involved observing classrooms and interviewing school staff, teachers, and children. "Children who do not concentrate" was a common concern raised by the teachers in those classrooms. A review of brain development research suggests concentration is a type of attention. Children may use a type of attention called shared focus when, for example, they laugh and run together on the playground, and when they leave their parents during morning arrival. Some children may also more naturally use this type of attention instead of concentration during the work period. (Contains 1 table.)

Language: English

ISSN: 1054-0040

Master's Thesis

A Mindful Start to the Day: Methods to Enhance Concentration for Lower Elementary Students in a Montessori Classroom

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Attention in children, Concentration, Lower elementary, Montessori method of education

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Abstract/Notes: Concentration is meaningful not only for students' academic achievement but also for the construction and development of their personality. Mindfulness has been suggested as an effective way of supporting concentration. Based on research and related literature review, the author consolidated different ways of mindfulness into a handbook with the purpose of providing methods for fellow teachers in supporting children in a Montessori lower elementary classroom to enhance their concentration capability. This project was presented to a focus group and feedback was collected in the form of a survey. Collected feedback showed the most and the least possible method that might be applied and it implied mindfulness training for teachers can be the next topic for research.

Language: English

Published: Moraga, California, 2020

Article

Investigating the Structure of the Children's Concentration and Empathy Scale Using Exploratory Graph Analysis

Available from: Hogrefe

Publication: Psychological Test Adaptation and Development

Pages: 1-15

Angeline Stoll Lillard - Writings, Attention in children, Child development, Developmental psychology, Executive function

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Abstract/Notes: The current paper investigates the structural validity of the Children's Concentration and Empathy Scale (CCES), which was designed based on Montessori's developmental theory to assess, using teacher ratings, the coherence of attention-related characteristics (concentration, empathy, and normalization) in children from 1.5 to 12 years old. The dimensionality analysis was carried out using exploratory graph analysis (EGA), and the stability of the items and factors were checked using a bootstrap version of EGA, and the results contrasted to exploratory factor analysis. The results point to a four-factor structure (emotion regulation, fantasy, task engagement, and empathy) after eliminating items with low replicability across bootstrapped samples. Beyond pointing to ways to improve the CCES, our paper presents a number of data analytical strategies that can be useful for studies investigating the structural validity of measurement instruments and demonstrates how EGA can effectively be used in the scale construction and validation process. Our manuscript and results are fully reproducible and are available on the Open Science Framework.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1027/2698-1866/a000008

ISSN: 2698-1866

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