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Children's Well-Being in Traditional vs. Montessori Schools: A Test of Self-Determination Theory
Abstract/Notes: The present study is a test of Self -Determination theory, which is well established in the field of education with a huge body of empirical evidence to support its assumptions that when the three universal psychological needs (Autonomy, Competence & Relatedness) of a child are met they will grow and function optimally leading to enhanced well-being. It is evident that Montessori philosophy is overlapping with the components of SDT. This study was conducted to examine the extent to which the three psychological needs are satisfied in Montessori schools in comparison to the Traditional schools. A purposive sample size of 80 children in elementary grades was selected from both Montessori and Traditional schools. Perceived support experienced by the children and their Well-Being was determined to establish the assumption of the SDT. The results showed that children in Montessori schools experienced greater satisfaction of needs when compared to traditional school children. However, the well-being of children from both school types didnâ€™t vary much and the causes can be attributed to factors outside classroom. These findings have some strong implications for policy makers, educators and parents.
Published: Bangalore, India, 2018
Examining a Montessori Adolescent Program Through a Self-Determination Theory Lens: A Study of the Lived Experiences of Adolescents
Available from: University of Kansas Libraries
Publication: Journal of Montessori Research, vol. 2, no. 1
Abstract/Notes: This study examined the influence of enrollment on the development of self-determination in a Montessori middle school. Bounded by self-determination and student voice theory, this research was designed to give voice to students, add to the discourse on middle school reform, and provide the perspective of the student to the critique of middle level education.Based on the analysis of narrative major themes indicated the importance of autonomy and relatedness. Students valued the ability to choose the order of their tasks and the tasks they could choose to demonstrate understanding as well as the ability to re-take tests. These changes require a paradigm shift to a student-centered learning environment.
Examining Montessori Middle School Through a Self-Determination Theory Lens: A Mixed Methods Study of the Lived Experiences of Adolescents
Available from: University of California eScholarship
Abstract/Notes: Montessori education was developed over a century ago. Dr. Montessori and her followers designed learning environments to meet the academic, social and psychological needs of students from eighteen months to eighteen years old. Within her writings and books, Dr. Montessori described strategies and structures that support autonomy, competence and relatedness. These same supports are found within Self-determination Theory (SDT) literature. Research points towards a link between satisfaction of the basic needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness and increased resilience, goal achievement, and feelings of well-being. . This study examined the influence of enrollment on the development of self- determination in a Montessori middle school which is intentionally created to support the development of autonomy, competence, and relatedness on adolescents. Bounded by self-determination, critical, and student voice theory, this research was designed to give voice to the most important stakeholders in education, add to the discourse on middle school reform, and provide the perspective of the student to the critique of middle level education. Based on the analysis of narrative, the major themes which represented all participants in all cycles were indicators of the importance of autonomy and relatedness. Two themes, "choose type of work", "choose order of tasks" illustrate the importance of autonomy to this group of students. The last major theme, "help me stay on top of things" highlighted the importance of relatedness to the study group. From these themes implications for middle level educators, educational leaders and future researchers were developed. Participants in the study voiced strong opinions about practices which supported autonomy and relatedness. Students valued the ability to choose the order of their tasks and the tasks they could choose to demonstrate understanding as well as the ability to re-take tests. These changes require a paradigm shift to a student- centered learning environment. Educational leaders can support this shift through providing staff development and planning time. Future research suggested by this study include studies which could further examine a possible link between relatedness support and student achievement and studies designed to capture the voices of students with a low measured SDT
Published: San Diego, California, 2013
Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)
The Effects of Self-Determination Theory on Montessori Kindergarten Student’s Math Knowledge and Attitudes
Available from: St. Catherine University
Abstract/Notes: This action research examined how fostering student autonomy, competence, and relatedness as described in Self-determination Theory (SDT) improved the Montessori kindergarten student’s motivation to choose work from the math curriculum? By increasing the kindergarten student’s knowledge of the Montessori math curriculum sequence, an attempt was made to increase their autonomy, competence and relatedness as it pertains to choosing math work. The data collection consisted of a student survey and questionaire that was administered before and after the introduction of the action research interventions. Teacher observations were also helpful when determining if students were choosing math works at a higher rate. This research found that introducing kindergarten students to the sequence of Montessori math work improved their knowledge of and attitude towards the Montessori math curiculum.
Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2013
Let the Child Teach Himself: Let the Child Teach Himself Let the Child Teach Himself
Publication: New York Times (New York, New York)
Date: May 16, 1965
Pages: Magazine - 34-35, 42, 44, 47, 49-50
Motivation and Self-Determination in Montessori Education
Book Title: The Bloomsbury Handbook of Montessori Education
Early childhood care and education, Early childhood education, Goal (Psychology), Goal setting, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., Motivation (Psychology), Self-determination
Abstract/Notes: This chapter describes how learning in the Montessori system hinges on students’ self-determined engagement which is encoded in the approach. Montessori environments are designed to engage students’ interests and offer activities that are challenging—but not too challenging—for each child. Montessori schools have been associated with positive outcomes related to students’ intrinsic motivation, academic engagement, and social cohesion. Although more remains to be learned about students’ motivation and engagement in Montessori education, available research-based knowledge on Montessori schools’ impact on student motivation is promising, with strong theoretical grounds for such a relation.
Published: New York, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-350-27561-4 978-1-350-27560-7 978-1-350-27562-1
Series: Bloomsbury Handbooks
Shunned and Admired: Montessori, Self-Determination, and a Case for Radical School Reform
Available from: Springer Link
Publication: Educational Psychology Review, vol. 31
Americas, Autonomy in children, Comparative education, Educational change, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., North America, Self-determination, Self-determination theory, United States of America
Abstract/Notes: School reform is an important national and international concern. The Montessori alternative school system is unique in that it is well-aligned with the science of healthy development and learning, has strong social–emotional and academic outcomes, is virtually unchanged in over a century, can be applied across all the school years, and still attracts considerable attention and allegiance—yet it remains Bon the margins^ (Whitescarver and Cossentino Teachers College Record, 110, 2571–2600, 2008) of the bulwark educational system, as often shunned as admired. Why does Montessori persist (and increasingly in the public sector) and why does it elicit such sharply contrasting reactions? This article reviews several reasons why it is admired, such as evidence of Montessori’s effectiveness, its alignment with educational psychology research, and its broad scope. The points of research alignment are presented as natural corollaries of Montessori’s central premise: independence, or self-determination. After discussing these extrinsic and intrinsic reasons why Montessori is admired, the article concludes with speculation as to why it is also shunned—namely its incommensurability with conventional education culture and what might be a consequence: frequent poor implementation. The incommensurability of evidence-based alternatives with the conventional system is also posed as a reason for radical school reform.
ISSN: 1040-726X, 1573-336X
Reducing the gap between theory and practice : Montessori teacher training and variation theory
Available from: DiVA at Stockholms Universitet
TEPE 2019 Conference ‘Quality Teachers and Quality Teacher Education: Research, Policy and Practice’, Krakow, Poland, 16-18 May, 2019
Abstract/Notes: Reducing the gap between theory and practice : Montessori teacher training and variation theory
Doctoral Dissertation (Ph.D.)
An Analysis of Maria Montessori's Theory of Normalization in Light of Emerging Research in Self-Regulation
Available from: Oregon State University Libraries
Abstract/Notes: The regulation of behavior is a major issue in early childhood development, with important implications for children’s adaptive and maladaptive developmental outcomes. Emerging research suggests that the degree of successful self-regulation depends upon the efficiency of the child’s attentional system and that the ability to focus and sustain attention supports emotional self-regulation throughout the lifespan. The neural networks that underlie the development of attention are beginning to be charted. Studies have shown that the executive attention network undergoes considerable development between the ages of 2 and 7. To support this development, research scholars have suggested the need to develop curriculum to promote focused and sustained attention in preschool programs. One hundred years ago, Maria Montessori observed that when the environment was designed to promote concentration, children went through a transformative process, which she referred to as normalization. Is normalization the same as self-regulation? This study was designed to examine whether Montessori’s theory of normalization can be considered an applied theory of self-regulation. This was accomplished by analyzing Csikszentmihalyi’s optimal experience theory and Ryan and Deci’s self-determination theory to provide the requisite guidance for developing curriculum capable of nurturing multiple aspects of self-regulation, which led to a conceptual framework for the comparison with Montessori’s theory of normalization. Montessori’s theoretical perspective is not readily available in published literature. Therefore this study used qualitative methods to conduct interviews with 12 Montessori teacher trainers. These individuals are considered the highest authority regarding Montessori theory and practice. Though Montessori’s contributions to the field of Early Childhood Education are often mentioned in university textbooks, the underlying theory (normalization) that guides her work receives little discussion. Without a clear understanding of Montessori’s theoretical perspective, research scholars are not able to isolate distinguishing characteristics that can assess self-regulation as an outcome of the curriculum nor can they adequately compare this approach with other forms of education. By introducing Montessori’s theory of normalization and analyzing it as a theory of selfregulation, this study has created a conceptual framework to articulate the governing characteristics and educational principles necessary to enhance practices that support the development of self-regulation in early childhood.
Published: Corvallis, Oregon, 2008
Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)
Self-Efficacy and Critical Race Theory: The Emotions and Identity of a Montessori Teacher
Available from: St. Catherine University
Abstract/Notes: This action research project investigated how anti-critical race theory (CRT) legislation in public education has impacted the perceived self-efficacy and emotions of one Montessori educator. This 4- week self-study consisted of daily assigned reading, weekly media, and a weekly conversation to aid in multicultural critical reflective practice (MCRP). Data was measured using a pre-and post- self assessment on Qualtrics, a daily mood app, and daily critical journal reflections. The pre-and post assessment demonstrated an increase in self-efficacy to speak with confidence about the origins of CRT in education research. Daily critical journal reflections displayed an increase in the ability to critically reflect on the educator’s own positionality, suggesting that daily critical engagement with material aimed at increasing awareness of racial inequities in education builds confidence and empathy in educators. Further research should include small groups of teachers utilizing this intervention for professional development, longer or shorter daily intervention, a biometric measurement in place of the daily mood measurement, and follow-up assessments over a longer study period to determine the lasting effects of the intervention. This research has impacted my future in education both personally and professionally, with confidence in my critical thinking skills and greater awareness of how my positionality interacts with structural inequities within education as my greatest perceived benefits.
Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2022