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The Importance of Activity-based Learning for Mastering Mathematical Tasks during Distance Learning in Austria
Available from: IntechOpen
Book Title: STEM Education - Recent Trends and New Advances
Abstract/Notes: The conversion of teaching to distance learning was a major challenge for all those involved in education. For elementary school-aged students, in particular, the transition was enormous, especially in mathematics. A research project in Austria investigated which features of activity-based, tools-supported mathematics instruction were helpful for mastering mathematical tasks during distance learning. The results of the research project show that action-oriented, tools-supported teaching, in which Maria Montessori’s didactic mathematics tools were used, was helpful for mastering mathematical tasks during the time of distance learning. By working with tools, the students were able to build up inner images of mathematical content and contexts. These inner images favored the process of abstraction, and they could fall back on these ideas during the time of distance learning.
Published: London, England: IntechOpen, 2023
Learning from Students, Learning from Music: Cognitive Development in Early Childhood Reflected through Music-Perceptual Tasks
Available from: Rider University
Publication: Visions of Research in Music Education, vol. 17, no. 1
Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this study was to investigate young children’s perception of melodic construction in hope of finding clues about their broader cognitive development in nonmusical domains. Following Jeanne Bamberger’s example of musical-perceptual tasks with Montessori bells, four children aged three to six were presented with a melodic construction task and asked to create a representation of their work. Analysis of data revealed common themes with varied results of (a) eagerness or hesitancy to participate, (b) whether bells were moved or played, (c) exploration of bells, (d) internalization of rhythm, (e) cognitive readiness for melodic construction, and (f) role of visual representation. No cross-case findings could be drawn about broader cognitive development, however specific characteristics of the children and their approach to the melodic construction task are presented. Recommendations for further study center on potential clues a melodic construction task could provide about language construction in individual children.
Task-based Language Learning in Bilingual Montessori Elementary Schools: Customizing Foreign Language Learning and Promoting L2 Speaking Skills
Available from: Universität Bern (Switzerland)
Publication: Linguistik Online, vol. 54, no. 4
Abstract/Notes: Foreign language learning has been a part of German elementary schools for several years now. Montessori schools focusing on individual learning, i.e. mostly independent from the teacher and based on auto-education, interest, and free choice, are also asked to teach an L2. The original lack of a concept of L2 learning for this environment has brought forth different approaches. Bilingual education seems to be feasible and applicable in Montessori education. The downside to this is that even in a bilingual classroom the Montessori way of learning may not allow for very much oral production of the foreign language. The role of L2 production (cf. Swain 1985, 1995, 2005) for language acquisition has been theoretically claimed and empirically investigated. Output can have a positive influence on L2 learning (cf. e.g. Izumi 2002, Keck et al. 2006). This also applies to interaction (cf. Long 1996), where negotiation of meaning and modified output are factors supporting L2 development (cf. e.g. de la Fuente 2002, McDonough 2005). Task-based Language Learning (TBLL) presents itself as one way to promote oral language production and to provide opportunities for meaning-negotiation. Especially tasks with required information exchange and a closed outcome have been shown to be beneficial for the elicitation of negotiation of meaning and modified output. This paper argues that TBLL is a promising approach for the facilitation of L2 production and thus the development of speaking skills in a Montessori context. It also hypothesizes that TBLL can be implemented in a bilingual Montessori environment while still making the Montessori way of learning possible. Different tasks on various topics, examples of which are presented in this article, can lay the foundation for this. Offering such tasks in a bilingual Montessori elementary classroom promises to foster language production and the use of communication strategies like negotiation of meaning, both being facilitative for L2 acquisition. This hypothesis remains to be tested in future research.
Outdoor Learning, A Pathway to Transformational Learning? Or Another Educational Gimmick?
Available from: Infonomics Society
Publication: International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education, vol. 13, no. 1
Abstract/Notes: Outdoor learning is one of the newest terminologies and implementations of using the outdoors as a part of education. This paper provides an in-depth overview to answer the question, is outdoor learning a pathway to transformational learning or another educational gimmick? To answer this question, this paper will focus on six fundamental sections. This paper begins by highlighting the ambiguity throughout history in defining education outside the classroom, with more than 75 different terminologies used to refer to education in the outdoors. The second theme is that despite this contemporary emergence, outdoor learning has a long and varied history within education, with modern elements of outdoor learning being traced back thousands of years in indigenous cultures. Then being refined throughout the 21st century before settling on the current contemporary form of outdoor learning. The third theme of this paper looks at the benefits of outdoor learning, summarized into six critical sections. These benefits include health and wellbeing, social-emotional and cognitive development, academic and behavioral benefits, memory benefits, increased positive attitudes towards the environment, and positive teacher benefits. The fourth theme of this paper reviews the barriers and challenges to implementing outdoor learning within schooling, with four primary barriers being identified. These barriers include outdoor learning having no formal status in teachers’ educational practice, a lack of teacher confidence in their outdoor teaching expertise, difficulty in starting an outdoor learning program, and physical restraints such as school grounds and weather. The penultimate theme of this paper reviews critical considerations that must be addressed when implementing an outdoor learning program; this includes cost, student numbers, transportation, insurance, time, framework, skills, assessments, the curriculum, and training. The final theme of this paper unpacks the effects of COVID-19 on outdoor learning within all levels of schooling. Initially seen as a method to return to school by being outdoors, outdoor learning has since demonstrated to educators worldwide that it deserves to be embedded as an everyday part of education even after the pandemic subsides.
Emotional Intelligence and Montessori Principles, Values, and Perspectives
Available from: ProQuest
Publication: Montessori Life, vol. 27, no. 4
Date: Winter 2015/2016
Abstract/Notes: In 2016, we are gathering in Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders, to discuss and reflect on the fundamental principles, values, and perspectives at the heart of Montessori" When I first read these words on the AMS weBsite, aBout the upcoming AMS 2016 Annual Conference, in March, I instantly saw the connection Between this year's conference theme ("Montessori Principles, Values & Perspectives") and emotional intelligence, the work of keynote speaker Dr. Mitchel Adler. A licensed clinical psychologist, certified group psychotherapist, and co-author of the Book Promoting Emotional Intelligence in Organizations, Dr. Adler is also the director of MindBody Intelligence (MBl) Consulting in Davis, CA. Without a teaching credential, I applied for a joB posting for a private elementary school math and science teacher. First and foremost, I'd say this would be an issue of self-awareness-that is, understanding our own feelings, our own buttons, our own triggers, and how our feelings are manifested.
Doctoral Dissertation (Ph.D.)
Emotional Wellness in NM Early Childhood Educators: A Critical Constructivist Examination of Neoliberalism in Education Policy and the Influence of Neoliberal Policy on Educator Wellness
Available from: ProQuest - Dissertations and Theses
Abstract/Notes: This dissertation examines neoliberalist policy in public school education in order to understand the influence of this neoliberalist policy on educator wellness in New Mexico early educators. Establishing the neoliberal influence in public education, the presidencies of Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, G.H.W. Bush, G.W. Bush, and Obama, as related to education policy and influences, presents the idea of education for profit through high stakes testing and scripted curriculums (Ali, 2019; Burke, et al., 2020; Howell et al., 2017; Leistyna, 2010; Mazzoni, 1977; Vaughn et al.; Wooley et al., 1999; Yardley, 2000). This dissertation establishes connections between neoliberal federal policy and widespread unrest among American educators (Adams et al., 2018; Macrine et al., 2010; Nieto, 2013). National exit attrition rates as well as rates of enrollment in teacher preparatory programs examined herein connect to widespread professional dissatisfaction among public educators (Boe et al., 2008; Engledowl, et al., 2020; Nieto, 2013). Subjective Well Being (SWB) of New Mexico early educators as influenced by neoliberalist public education policy is qualitatively examined via this interpretive phenomenological analysis. Methods included interviews, surveys, and questionnaires conducted with eight New Mexico educators. Utilization of hermeneutic member checking promotes trustworthiness and credibility (Noon, 2018). Through coding, findings reveal that NM early educators’ SWB may be negatively influenced by neoliberalist policy in public education. Themes related to connections between neoliberal public education policies and SWB include: demoralization caused by leaders; control of creativity; confines of curriculum; an illusion of freedom; limitations of high stakes testing and curriculum; experiences centered on abuse, trauma, and PTSD; and exhaustion, lack of humanity in public education policy, as well as educators’ invisibility. Implications exist for the arenas of education policy, high stakes testing, curriculum, ethics in education, and educator activism.
Published: Las Cruces, New Mexico, 2022
The Emotional Dimension in the Second Phase of Development
Publication: NAMTA Bulletin
Date: Mar 2008
Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)
Mindfulness and the Virtual School: Effects of Mindfulness Interventions in the Aftermath of Emotional Trauma and Isolation
Available from: St. Catherine University
Abstract/Notes: This action research studied the effects of mindfulness, meditation, and simple yoga exercises on children in the aftermath of emotional trauma and isolation due to COVID-19. The research further explored how these strategies interact with Montessori philosophy and whether a public Montessori school’s virtual upper elementary environment can accommodate such practices. The study took place over four weeks. Thirty-one upper elementary students in a public metropolitan Montessori school received daily guidance on mindfulness and mediation via Google Meet and instructional videos. The researcher used online pre- and post-surveys, checklists, and students’ journals to collect data. Over the course of the study students demonstrated increased comfort level when expressing emotions. Further study could examine the impact these interventions have if delivered in the non-virtual Montessori classroom.
Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2020
Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)
Mindfulness Breathing in Support of Emotional Self-Regulation in a Montessori Upper Elementary Environment
Available from: St. Catherine University
Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this research was to examine whether the implementation of mindfulness breathing exercises aided in emotional self-regulation. This study incorporated various breathing techniques five days a week for five to ten minutes each day. The six-week study involved 14 children between the ages of 9 and 12 years in a private Montessori school in the southern region of the United States. Data collection included daily observations of the breathing exercises, pre and post-behavioral self-assessments, a daily reflection tool by the researcher, and a student feedback form. Results showed an increase in regulated behavior and breathing techniques being used by deregulated students. The pre and post-behavioral self-assessment showed an increase in positive self-perception as well as a shift in self-control, responsibility, respect, behavior, and self-esteem. The daily observations showed an increase in calm and focus during the morning and afternoon work cycles after implementation at the beginning of both work cycles. 69% of participants felt mindfulness breathing helped as well as 61% enjoyed mindfulness breathing. Two students independently practiced breathing techniques to help them regulate. The data showed a positive correlation between the implementation of mindfulness breathing techniques and self-regulation in children ages 9 to 12. Suggestions for further research include consistent observation time, implementation of a variety of mindfulness activities including yoga or listening to calming music and having a calm place in the classroom to integrate mindfulness practices
Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2022