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Doctoral Dissertation

Skolans Levda Rum och Lärandets Villkor: Meningsskapande i Montessoriskolans Fysiska Miljö [The School's Living Space and the Conditions of Learning: Creating Meaning in the Montessori School's Physical Environment]

Available from: DiVA Portal

Architecture, Design, Environment, Europe, Northern Europe, Scandinavia, Sweden

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Abstract/Notes: This study examines the school’s physical environment as a place of learning, and takes its starting point in the phenomenology movement, inspired both by Merleau-Ponty’s thesis of man’s physical relation to the world and by the existential analysis represented by Heidegger which implies a mutual relationship between man and the world. Such a view rejects a standpoint which describes man as being divided between a material body and a thinking soul. Instead, there emerges an embodied self which engages in meaningful interaction with its surroundings. The choice of this standpoint has implications for the design of the school’s physical environment. Montessori pedagogy is one of the activity-based pedagogies which have designed the physical environment in line with this theory. The purpose of the study is to understand, but further to visualise, the way in which the conditions for learning for children and adolescents are created in schools, from pre-school to lower secondary level, which follow the Montessori pedagogy. The material for the empirical study has been gathered from Europe and the US and from differing social contexts. The reason for this is to discover what distinguishes the prepared environment. The study also discusses the way in which the argument for a form of schooling which is based on activity, from the early 20th century to the present day, has been addressed through the architectural design of schools. The thesis shows that the rich array of didactic material in the schools observed offers pupils the opportunity to perform activities which create meaning. The organisation of the environment provides the pupils with the necessary conditions to concentrate fully on their work and to complete their tasks without interruption. I see the didactic continuity which prevails from pre-school to the lower secondary school in the Montessori schools studied as a prerequisite if the pedagogical activity is to offer meaning and create the conditions for learning in the way demonstrated by the empirical studies.

Language: Swedish

Published: Stockholm, 2012

Doctoral Dissertation

Negotiating Dual Accountability Systems: Strategic Responses of Big Picture Schools to State-Mandated Standards and Assessment

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandated that states implement standards and test-based accountability systems. In theory, local educators are free to select the means for teaching the standards so long as students achieve a predetermined proficiency level on the exams. What is unclear, however, is how this theory plays out in schools committed to educational approaches that are seemingly incompatible with state-determined standards and testing. This dissertation examines how such schools strategically respond to the opposing demands of their program design and these government mandates. This qualitative study focuses on five schools affiliated with the Big Picture Learning (BPL) network. BPL offers an example of an educational program whose emphasis on individualized interest-driven learning and authentic real-world assessment is not easily aligned with standards-driven content and tests. This study considers empirical research on school-level response to externally imposed accountability mandates (Carnoy, Elmore & Siskin, 2003). In addition, it draws on sociology's organization-environment relations literature including institutional isomorphism (DiMaggio & Powell, 1983), agency (DiMaggio, 1988; Oliver, 1991) and the theoretical models of bridging, buffering and decoupling (Scott & Davis, 2007) to create a conceptual framework of how these BPL schools negotiate competing expectations. Findings show that these schools filter state demands for accountability through the lenses of both individual teachers and Big Picture design. While taking action both to meet the demands and protect the core program, schools internalize the value of a standards-based curriculum and increase internal accountability to incorporate content-standards while simultaneously rejecting the validity of testing and gaming the system. Currently, failure to meet state mandates comes with such severe consequences that these schools may be forced to choose between radically morphing to survive or maintaining integrity and possibly closing. However, if the regulatory climate becomes less standardized and more qualitative, these schools could be forerunners in meeting revised mandates. The study suggests policy implications surrounding the intersection of belief systems, consequences and strategic responses. It offers a cautionary tale about the power of the state, the precarious nature of falling outside state norms and what prioritizing bureaucratic efficiency may mean for innovation in education.

Language: English

Published: Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2012

Article

Schools Helping Schools: Karuna Montessori

Publication: Montessori Matters, no. 1

Pages: 4–6

⛔ No DOI found

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Language: English

Doctoral Dissertation

Balancing Act: Race and the Kansas City, Missouri Public Schools, 1949–1999

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: Public school integration has been a wrenching process in a number of American cities during the last half of the twentieth century. In few cities, however, has the process been so heavily litigated, so rife with controversy, so costly, so lengthy, or, ultimately, yielded results so mixed as in Kansas City, Missouri. This dissertation analyzes the troubled course of integration in the Kansas City public schools and the numerous forces that influenced that course. In short, this dissertation is a case study of one district's struggle to formulate an integrated school system and the manner in which changing legal standards, shifting demographic patterns, pressure from various community groups, financial limitations, and other political considerations have shaped public policy choices regarding integration in the Kansas City schools. During the fifty year period between 1949 and 1999, racial issues have figured prominently, and at times dominated, the policy making process in the Kansas City schools. In 1955 the city's public schools were integrated, but the extent of integration produced by the initial desegregation plan failed to satisfy the black community and the district faced several lawsuits seeking additional steps to promote integration. The paucity of integration in the Kansas City schools also drew criticism from the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In the mid-1970s, under pressure from HEW, school officials in Kansas City initiated a busing plan that produced more extensive integration. However, by the mid-1980s, the school district was again a defendant in a desegregation suit. The school district was found liable for the vestiges of segregation that remained in the public schools and a sweeping remedy was ordered by the court. in a series of rulings announced in the mid-1980s, the district court approved a remedy providing for educational enhancements, massive improvements to the district's schools, and the establishment of the nation's most expansive and expensive magnet schools system for purposes of integration. The magnet plan, however, failed to meet the ambitious goals established by the district court, and the remedy was continually attacked in the courts by the state of Missouri and disgruntled taxpayers. In 1995, the United States Supreme Court overturned much of the remedy and four years later the case was dismissed.

Language: English

Published: Manhattan, Kansas, 2000

Article

Standardized Test Proficiency in Public Montessori Schools

Available from: Taylor and Francis Online

Publication: Journal of School Choice, vol. 16, no. 1

Pages: 105-135

Academic achievement, Americas, Angeline Stoll Lillard - Writings, Montessori schools, Montessori schools, North America, Public Montessori, Standardized tests, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Although Montessori is the most common unconventional education model, no multi-state study has compared standardized test proficiency of Montessori schools with districts. Here we report on this for the 10 states/regions with the most public Montessori schools (n = 195). In 3rd grade, Montessori schools were less proficient in math but more proficient in ELA. In 8th grade they were also more proficient on ELA and showed a trend to greater proficiency in math. Black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students at Montessori schools were more proficient on ELA tests, and performed better or similarly on math tests, at both grade levels. Achievement gaps were generally smaller. Difference in percent proficient in 8th grade controlling for 3rd grade was consistently greater at Montessori schools than in districts. Potential reasons for the different performance of Montessori schools are discussed.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1080/15582159.2021.1958058

ISSN: 1558-2159, 1558-2167

Doctoral Dissertation

Internationalisierung Durch Lokalisierung: Gülen Inspirierte Schulen [Internationalization Through Localization: Gülen Inspired Schools]

Available from: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf [Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf]

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Abstract/Notes: Internationalisierung ist heute eines der wichtigsten Themen in diversen Sektoren. Viele nationale Bildungsbewegungen versuchen, durch ihre internationalen Filialen oder durch Zusammenarbeit im internationalen Märkte zu expandieren. Die Gülen-Bewegung ist eine dieser Bewegungen, die ihre Schulen erfolgreich internationalisiert hat und somit in den letzten drei Jahrzehnten zu einer internationalen Bildungsbewegung geworden ist, wie die Waldorf- und Montessori-Bewegung. Ziel dieser Studie ist es, die Internationalisierung der von Gülen inspirierten Schulen zu untersuchen. Ein qualitatives Forschungsdesign wird verwendet, um dieses Problem zu untersuchen. Halbstrukturierte Interviews werden mit Leitern der Gülen inspirierten Schulen aus drei Kontinenten und Experten der Bewegung durchgeführt. In der Feldstudie wurden zunächst die Bildungsphilosophie, das Schulkonzept und die Pädagogik der Gülen-Bewegung untersucht. Anschließend werden Internationalisierungsstrategien, Gründung und der Erfolg der Gülen inspirierten Schulen in verschiedenen Regionen der Welt untersucht. Am Ende werden die Auswirkungen des gescheiterten Putschversuchs in der Türkei im Juli 2016 auf Gülen inspirierte Schulen, ihre aktuelle Situation und die Zukunft dieser Schulen mit den Teilnehmern dieser Studie diskutiert. Die Ergebnisse zeigen das spezifische Bildungsmodell der Gülen inspirierten Schulen; wie diese Schulen mit kulturellen und sprachlichen Unterschieden in einem internationalen Umfeld umgehen; wie sie dem politischen Druck auf die Bildungseinrichtungen der Bewegung entgegenwirken und schlussendlich die Qualitäts- und Finanzfragen dieser Bildungseinrichtungen in verschiedenen Regionen. [Internationalization is one of the most important subjects in different sectors today. A lot of national educational movements attempt to open international markets by opening branches or working on cooperation. The Gülen Movement is one of these movements, which has successfully internationalized their schools and, thus has become an international educational movement in the last three decades, like Waldorf and Montessori movements. The purpose of this study is to examine the internationalization of the Gülen Inspired Schools. A qualitative research design is used to study this issue. Semi-structured interviews are conducted with managers of the Gülen inspired schools from three continents and experts on the movement. Initially, the educational philosophy, school concept and the pedagogy of the Gülen movement was examined on the field study. Following, internationalization strategies, founding and the success of the Gülen inspired schools in different regions of the world is researched. At the end, the effects of the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016 on Gülen inspired schools, their current situation and the future of these schools is discussed with the participants of this study. The results show, the unique educational model of the Gülen inspired schools; how these schools deal with cultural and language differences in international environments; how they challenge political pressure on educational institutions of the movement; and quality and financial issues of these educational institutions in different regions.]

Language: English

Published: Düsseldorf, Germany, 2020

Article

Public Montessori Elementary Schools: A Delicate Balance

Available from: ProQuest

Publication: Montessori Life, vol. 20, no. 4

Pages: 26-30

⛔ No DOI found

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Abstract/Notes: Public Montessori elementary schools have two challenges: They strive to achieve a child-centered Montessori environment and must also address the demands of state and federal requirements developed for more traditional educational settings. This study analyzes how schools were operating on both fronts. On the one hand, the study measured the degree to which schools reported they were living up to the ideals of establishing truly Montessori environments within public schools (based on characteristics identified by the American Montessori Society as essential for the success of Montessori schools in the public sector). On the other hand, the study also gauged public Montessori elementary school leaders' perceptions of the greatest challenges facing their schools. This study incorporates public Montessori elementary school leaders' descriptions of their schools on several dimensions. First, participants provided basic school characteristics, such as admission criteria, enrollment information, and enrollment trends. They followed with Montessori practices and attitudes, outlining teacher background and classroom structure. Next, testing practices and attitudes toward standardized testing were described. Finally, they enumerated the greatest challenges facing their schools. (Contains 5 tables and 3 figures.)

Language: English

ISSN: 1054-0040

Article

Two Views of Neighborhood Schools: Kansas City, Vincent Questions Virtues of Neighborhood Schools; Minneapolis, Newuman Sees Possibilities Amid Community School Movement

Available from: University of Connecticut Libraries - American Montessori Society Records

Publication: Public School Montessorian, vol. 9, no. 3

Pages: 9

Public Montessori

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Abstract/Notes: Frank Vincent discusses neighborhood schools in Kansas City, Missouri. Jean Neuman discusses schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Language: English

Doctoral Dissertation

Literacy Achievement in Nongraded Classrooms

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: This longitudinal quantitative study compared literacy achievement of students from second through sixth grade based on two organizational systems: graded (traditional) and nongraded (multiage) classrooms. The California Standards Test (CST) scaled and proficiency scores for English-Language Arts (ELA) were used as the study's independent variable to measure student performance. A matched control was utilized in which nongraded students were compared with graded students based on gender, ethnicity, and date of birth. Data analysis included independent samples t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and effect size. Results showed that nongraded students had a significant advantage over their graded counterparts in literacy achievement (p=0.000). Effect size for the matched group increased with length of exposure in the nongraded program from Cohen's d=0.49 to d=0.99. It is difficult to determine if significant outcomes were the result of classroom structure or instructional strategies used in the nongraded setting. However, a unique quality of this study involves the rare conditions and matched control design that allowed for variables to be controlled, which have yet to be simultaneously accounted for in multiage studies to date. Based on the results, this study suggested that nongraded education, by responding to the developmental nature of children in the classroom, may offer a viable alternative to the graded system. In nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Finland, and Canada with the highest literacy rates in the world, nongraded classrooms are common educational practice.

Language: English

Published: Los Angeles, California, 2011

Report

The Possibility of Public Montessori Schools: Examining the Montessori philosophy and its prospect in American public schools

Available from: Vanderbilt University Institutional Repository

Americas, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., North America, Public Montessori, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: In an effort to explore the ways in which Montessori curriculum and public schools are cooperative or mutually exclusive, I will examine the principles of the Montessori philosophy as set forth by Dr. Maria Montessori in the areas of learners and learning, the learning environment, the curriculum and instructional strategies, and student assessment. After examining these sectors of the Montessori method, I will discuss theoretical possibilities in adapting the Montessori method to the American public school system in the early 21st century. For the purpose of this paper, I will refer to the author of the Montessori method, as "Dr. Montessori" and call the general method or portions thereof as "Montessori."

Language: English

Published: Nashville, Tennessee, 2007

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