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Doctoral Dissertation (Ph.D.)

Approaching 'The Civic Mission of Schools': Examining Adolescent Civic Engagement in an Alternative Learning Environment

Available from: ProQuest - Dissertations and Theses

Montessori method of education, Service learning

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of the study was to examine students' expected and observable civic engagement in a Montessori Erdkinder-based middle school classroom. Research questions included: (a) In what ways is civic engagement addressed in the Montessori Erdkinder-based middle school explicit curriculum? (b) How does the expected civic engagement in the Montessori Erdkinder-based middle school explicit curriculum align with The Civic Mission of Schools six educational approaches? (c) In what ways do students experience civic engagement at the end-of-the-school year in Grades 7, 8 and 9 in a Montessori Erdkinder-based middle school classroom? The study used a case design with three embedded units of analysis. The purposefully selected participants included the teacher and 19 students. The curriculum was analyzed using document analysis and context was provided through teacher interviews. The curriculum was aligned with The Civic Mission of Schools' six approaches. Students' civic engagement was examined through observations, students' interviews and documents. Cross-case analysis examined civic engagement experiences between each grade level. These analyses were compared findings to civic education literature and The Civic Mission of Schools' six approaches. The study found the curriculum provided opportunities for civic engagement including civic and political skills, civic dispositions and community participation. When compared with The Civic Mission of Schools, the curriculum provided mixed results. Only the students' voices in school governance and service-learning were evident. Students had similar opportunities for civic engagement because of the mixed-age nature of Montessori learning. Evidence of student civic engagement included a student created and maintained democratic classroom environment, community service and service-learning, informal discussion of current events and participation in the Montessori Model United Nations. Although the curriculum did not directly align with The Civic Mission of Schools, it provided an example of (a) an apolitical curriculum for creating world citizens and (b) a model for civility for classroom governance and student behavior. A community of practice was developed based on occupation-based learning in which students learned their roles and experienced stress in a democratic workplace. Recommendations for future research include political socialization and alternative learning environments.

Language: English

Published: Charlottesville, Virginia, 2011


Een Bezoek aan de Montessori Afdeling van de Gem. Kweekschool te Amsterdam

Available from: Stadsarchief Amsterdam (Amsterdam City Archives)

Publication: Montessori Opvoeding, vol. 23, no. 3

Pages: 21-23

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Language: Dutch

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