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Doctoral Dissertation

Möjligheter och begränsningar: Om lärares arbete med montessoripedagogiken i praktiken [Opportunities and limitations: About teachers' work with Montessori pedagogy in practice]

Available from: DiVA Portal

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Abstract/Notes: This study examines processes connected to teacher’s transformation of the Montessori theory and it's described application to a daily practice. The aim is to create knowledge about what constitutes possibilities and limitations for teachers in their daily work with Montessori education. This does not only refer to what constitutes opportunities and limitations in teachers' everyday work with teaching, but also to what constitutes opportunities and limitations for teachers to learn at work. The theoretical framework is based on action theory and theories on adult learning and connects to a tradition called workplace-learning in which learning is considered to take place in, but also between, individuals. This approach indicates that the contextual conditions which the teachers were imbedded in are important to identify. The study was conducted in four different Montessori-environments and involved nine Montessori teachers. The methods used were participant observation, interviews, informal conversations and review of teacher produced material and documents. Possibilities and limitations in teachers work were related to if they had access to Montessori materials or not. In work with Montessori materials teachers identified the children's abilities to a greater extent than they did when other materials were in use. This identification directed their interventions. When the teachers did not have access to Montessori material their method often appeared to be the same as “individual work” with the provided material. Furthermore, interventions of the teacher were then significantly often procedural rather than content-related, although the teachers clearly expressed that they wanted to go into a dialogue with children about the treated subject area. The survey therefore contradicts with the opinion that Montessori-teachers withdraw in favor of Montessori materials that sometimes has been brought up by interpreters of the pedagogy. Rather, teachers stepped back when other materials were in use. The study also shows how a prerequisite for a collective development-oriented learning among the teachers was dependent on whether teachers made their own private understanding of the pedagogy available to each other. At times, however, teachers took the use of the materials for granted. Some of the teachers also deliberately refrained from making their personal understanding available to others due to the fact that they then could be seen as a less competent Montessori-teacher. This maintaining of a “false” collective understanding is seen as an expression of an institutionalization of teaching practice which was maintained by sanctions from the environment if the individual didn´t recognize the institutionalization in question. Since teacher’s “space for action” in this way was limited, the institution created conditions that prevented a possible development of the working methods in use. In those cases when conditions for a collective development-oriented learning were more favorable, it was clear that the teachers did not perceive Montessori education as a given method but rather saw it as a "model" for teaching in which the teachers had to interpret and define their own method from. The teachers thus came to take advantage of a potential “space for action” which was not noticed when the pedagogy was seen as a method.

Language: Swedish

Published: Stockholm, Sweden, 2016

Doctoral Dissertation

An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the Korean Montessori Teacher Training Program as Perceived by Montessori Teachers and Parents of Montessori-Educated Children

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: During the past ten years, a total of 3,642 teachers and administrators have attended the Korean Montessori Teacher Training Program (KMTTP). A sample of Montessori teachers (n = 261) and Korean parents (n = 375) from 32 Korean Montessori schools located in the major cities of Korea were surveyed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of this teacher preparation program. The EXPECTATIONS AND GOAL ATTAINMENT QUESTIONNAIRE (EGAQ), designed by the researcher, was the instrumentation used to conduct this study. Major findings demonstrated that 74.5 percent of the teachers surveyed indicated that their main reasons for attending the KMTTP were to increase their professional competency and their knowledge of child development through Montessori philosophy. The correlation between teachers' levels of satisfaction with their preparation and perceived effectiveness of the training program was higher (r =.29, p $<$.05) than between their levels of satisfaction with the program and their perceptions of their preparedness after completion of training (r =.18, p $<$.05). Significant differences existed between perceived effectiveness of the KMTTP and teachers' ages, positions, and years of experience. Older teachers and those with more advanced teaching positions expressed greater satisfaction with the program. Teachers indicated that, upon completion of the KMTTP, they felt more prepared in, than knowledgeable of, Montessori educational methodology. From the parent perspective, the most frequently cited reason (74.3%) for sending their child to a Montessori School was to provide a learning environment that nurtured their child's interpersonal growth. A majority of the parents (58.5%) were very satisfied with the Montessori experience; no parents were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied. In correlating the effectiveness of Montessori education with specific outcomes, parents indicated highest levels of satisfaction in the areas of "concentration" and "academic achievement." A majority of the teachers surveyed (52.8%) encouraged the implementation of the Montessori Teacher Training Program in neighboring countries, with 42.1 percent strongly encouraging implementation. This study demonstrated the need for further development and improvement in the area of Montessori teacher training in Korea.

Language: English

Published: San Francisco, California, 1994

Doctoral Dissertation

Examining Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of the Impact of High-Stakes Testing on Classroom Teaching Practices: A Mixed Methods Study

Available from: UAB Libraries

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Abstract/Notes: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) requires schools to be held accountable for academic performance. It is believed the pressure of accountability will lead teachers to narrow the curriculum by engaging students in test preparation activities. The purpose of this two-phase, explanatory mixed methods study was to examine elementary teachers’ perceptions of the impact of the Stanford Achievement Test 10 (SAT-10) and the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT) on classroom teaching practices from a sample of third-grade, fourth-grade, and fifth-grade teachers in three large school systems in Alabama. The purpose of the first, quantitative phase of the study, was to reveal teachers’ perceptions of the impact of high-stakes testing on curriculum and instructional approaches, the amount of time spent on critical thinking skills, the amount of time spent on test preparation activities, and the perceived impact of state tests on students and teachers by surveying 123 third-grade through fifth-grade teachers in three large Alabama school systems. In the second, qualitative phase of this study, purposeful sampling strategy and maximal variation sampling strategy were employed to interview nine teachers who responded to the survey in the first, quantitative phase of the study to explore the results from the statistical tests in more depth. Findings suggested urban teachers spent more time on critical-thinking skills than rural and suburban teachers, and low-socioeconomic, rural teachers experienced more stress caused by high-stakes testing than their geographical counterparts. All teachers independent of socioeconomic status or school geographical location reported they increased their focus on reading and math, which were the subjects assessed on high-stakes tests and de-emphasized subjects not tested such as social studies and science. Finally, most teachers reported they decreased the teaching of critical thinking skills due to the SAT-10 but increased the teaching of critical thinking skills due to the ARMT. Due to the lack of research regarding high-stakes testing in Alabama elementary schools, there was a need for teachers to discuss the specific impact of testing on classroom teaching practices because they work directly with students and are cognizant of the challenges that teachers face.

Language: English

Published: Birmingham, Alabama, 2010

Doctoral Dissertation

Understanding What it Means to be a Montessori Teacher: Teachers Reflections on Their Lives and Work

Montessori method of education - Teacher training, Montessori method of education - Teachers, Teachers

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Abstract/Notes: The overall aim of this study has been to come to a better understanding of what it means to be a Montessori teacher, by getting a group of Montessori teachers to reflect on their lives and work. Data exploration has comprised journals, interviews, written reflections and collaborative con-textual analysis. Analysis of the teachers? occupational life histories and the findings as a whole have been used to shed light on: ?Values and specific aspects of the philosophy of Montessori edu-cation that primarily attract teachers to this profession. ?Ways in which teachers? conceptions of their professional roles reflect their own personal values, beliefs and convictions. ?Teachers? views regarding the role of Montessori education to-day and in the future. Eight female Montessori primary school teachers participated in the study. Findings reveal that the strengths of the Montessori method lie in its focus on philosophical awareness, the holistic approach and a genuine ethic of care. Montessori?s fundamental educational principles are also in alignment with the current Curriculum for Compulsory Schools (Lpo 94). On the other hand, difficulties are experienced due to conflicting tradi-tional/contemporary interpretations of Montessori theory and practice and a general lack of collaboration among Montessori teachers. Open discussion and a sharing of ideas and experiences would help Montessori teachers come to terms with how to apply fundamental principles in new ways without the fear of losing an educational ?identity?. The Montessori teachers in this study reflect this attitude. Tendencies toward continu-ity/meaningful change in education depend to a great extent on the ways in which teachers are able to critically reflect about how they think and what they do. Taking seriously what teachers have to say is in fact essen-tial in order to understand the forces that, among other things, govern and sway teachers? inner as well as outer motivations, something of relevance and concern to all involved in teaching and educational processes.

Language: English

Published: Malmö, Sweden, 2003

Doctoral Dissertation

Comparison of Montessori and Non-Montessori Teachers' Beliefs About Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Preschools

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: In this study, 173 preschool teachers (80 non-Montessori teachers and 93 Montessori teachers) were given a survey at two early childhood professional conferences that examined their beliefs about Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP). The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate preschool teachers' beliefs about Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and Developmentally Inappropriate Practice (DIP); (b) discover the similarities and differences in the factor structures of the Teacher's Beliefs Scale (TBS) between the study conducted by Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Thomasson, Mosley, and Fleege in 1993 and the current study about DAP; (c) discover the similarities and differences of Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) and Developmentally Inappropriate Practice (DIP) beliefs between Montessori teachers and preschool teachers; and (d) investigate the factors that are related to teachers' beliefs about DAP and DIP. The Teacher Beliefs Scale (TBS) was used to assess preschool teachers' beliefs about DAP and DIP. Factor analysis was used to support the validity of TBS in the current study. Multiple t-tests were used to identify the differences in developmental appropriate/inappropriate beliefs between Montessori and non-Montessori teachers. Multiple regression analyses were used to explain the relationship between variables of 173 Montessori and non-Montessori preschool teachers. Results of the study showed that a majority of preschool teachers agreed with 22 Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) and 12 Developmentally Inappropriate Practices (DIP). Responses to seven items were different from the original study (Charlesworth et al., 1993). There was a significant difference on Inappropriate Activities and on Appropriate Child Choice between non-Montessori and Montessori teachers. There was a relationship between teachers' beliefs about DAP and teachers' educational backgrounds, teaching experiences, ethics, and DAP understanding level in the current study.

Language: English

Published: Greeley, Colorado, 2003

Book

Together with Montessori: The Guide to Help Montessori Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Resource Teachers, Administrators, and Parents Work in Harmony to Create Great Schools

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Language: English

Published: Minneapolis, Minnesota: Jola Publications, 1993

Book

Together with Montessori: The Guide to Help Montessori Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Resource Teachers, Administrators and Parents Work in Harmony to Create Great Schools

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Language: English

Published: Minneapolis, Minnesota: Jola Publications, 2001

Edition: 2nd ed.

Doctoral Dissertation

Communication Strategies of Public School and Montessori Parents and Teachers

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Communications, Elementary education, Montessori method of education, Parent, Parents, Public Montessori

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Abstract/Notes: Two important aspects of teaching and caring for children were explored using a questionnaire: communication preferences for talking to children and assumptions about how children think about specific things in various situations. Forty parents and teachers from Montessori Schools and forty parents and teachers from Milwaukee Public Schools completed a questionnaire concerning four social situations and one factual situation. Parents and teachers ranked responses to each situation from 1 to 5 or wrote an alternative response if none of those given were appropriate. Parents and teachers also predicted what they would actually do in each situation and described their ideal response in each case. In the second part of the questionnaire parents and teachers gave their views on how children understood ideas relating to time, another's point of view, and play. The responses to the questionnaire by parents and teachers tended to reflect the basic philosophy of Montessori education, which is based upon a cognitive constructivist model in which rational authoritative and distancing strategies rank higher than diversion, normative authoritative, and direct authoritative strategies. Moreover, the beliefs and behaviors of Montessori parents and teachers tended to support this conclusion. A difference was found in the diversion strategy whereby both groups ranked diversion high in the first and second social situations and very low in the fourth and fifth social situations. These differences were likely due to the particular type of situation described. The majority of subjects, both teachers and parents, responded with more cognitive reasons than social reasons to the five situations. They also responded more frequently with active answers than passive answers. Finally, it was found that public school teachers and parents who were from upper middle class districts and professionally educated tended to use the same strategies as the Montessori teachers and parents. In fact, there were no significant differences between the ideal ranking of these five situations by these two groups.

Language: English

Published: Madison, Wisconsin, 1982

Doctoral Dissertation

Montessori as Metonymy: How Montessori Early Childhood Teachers Approach Race in the Classroom

Available from: Bethel University - Institutional Repository

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how Montessori early childhood teachers approach teaching about race and racial bias in their classrooms. Twenty-four Montessori early childhood teachers participated in an open-ended survey, and five teachers of those 24 participated in a data-informed online semi-structured interview. The interviewees received an infographic with narrative and graphics in which themes of the survey were detailed, a form of graphic elicitation. Surveys and interviews were coded and analyzed for themes. Themes were verified through independent coding by an independent analyst. Several themes that emerged from the surveys and interviews indicated that 1) Montessori early childhood teachers generally hold a race neutral view of early childhood, 2) Most Montessori early childhood teachers believe that young children do not have bias, 3) Most Montessori early childhood teachers believe that teaching about race and racial bias is implicit in their Montessori training on culture, peace, and respect, 4) Montessori early childhood teachers did not receive explicit instruction from their Montessori training or education programs regarding teaching about race and racial bias, and 5) Most Montessori early childhood teachers supplemented their training with books or developed lessons outside of those obtained in training to teach about race. Reasons for participants' beliefs around race, racial bias, prejudice, young children, and teaching are discussed, as well as the implications of these outcomes. The results of this study were used to develop recommendations for Montessori teachers, Montessori teacher education programs, and national Montessori organizations. Recommendations for further research suggest that a broad examination of demographics along with data on how Montessori teachers are teaching about race and racial bias may yield pertinent information that could further guide educators and trainers.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2018

Conference Paper

Teachers' lives and work in a cultural and historical context. Reflections based on the professional life histories of eight Montessori teachers in Sweden

Available from: DiVA Portal

World Education Fellowship (41st, Sun City, South Africa, 22-27 April 2001)

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Abstract/Notes: This paper discusses the implications of using life history methodology in teacher research. By examining teachers’ life stories within a cultural and historical context the researcher and teacher, in collaboration, construct a life history. Biographical material based on the personal and professional aspects of being a teacher were collected from eight Montessori teachers in Sweden. Empirical data included interviews, diaries, written narratives and discussions. Theoretical and philosophical issues raised in conjunction with the biographies included counterconcepts such as traditional educational theory/critical reflection and continuity/change within the profession. Specific issues were raised in regard to students, parents, the work situation, etc. Valuable insights were gained concerning the changing roles of teachers in contemporary educational contexts. The voices and visions of teachers should thus be able to contribute to a deeper understanding of the role of the teacher and by so doing lead to improvements within the profession as a whole.

Language: English

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