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Article

Elementary Teacher's Conceptions of Inquiry Teaching: Messages for Teacher Development

Available from: Taylor and Francis Online

Publication: Journal of Science Teacher Education, vol. 23, no. 2

Pages: 159-175

Americas, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., North America, Teacher attitudes, Teacher training, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: This study explored practicing elementary school teacher’s conceptions of teaching in ways that foster inquiry-based learning in the science curriculum (inquiry teaching). The advocacy for inquiry-based learning in contemporary curricula assumes the principle that students learn in their own way by drawing on direct experience fostered by the teacher. That students should be able to discover answers themselves through active engagement with new experiences was central to the thinking of eminent educators such as Pestalozzi, Dewey and Montessori. However, even after many years of research and practice, inquiry learning as a referent for teaching still struggles to find expression in the average teachers’ pedagogy. This study drew on interview data from 20 elementary teachers. A phenomenographic analysis revealed three conceptions of teaching for inquiry learning in science in the elementary years of schooling: (a) The Experience-centered conception where teachers focused on providing interesting sensory experiences to students; (b) The Problem-centered conception where teachers focused on engaging students with challenging problems; and (c) The Question-centered conception where teachers focused on helping students to ask and answer their own questions. Understanding teachers’ conceptions has implications for both the enactment of inquiry teaching in the classroom as well as the uptake of new teaching behaviors during professional development, with enhanced outcomes for engaging students in Science.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1007/s10972-011-9251-2

ISSN: 1046-560X, 1573-1847

Thesis

Autism in Early Childhood Education Montessori Environments: Parents' and Teachers' Perspectives

Available from: Auckland University of Technology - Institutional Repository

Australasia, Australia and New Zealand, Autism, Special education, Children with disabilities, Montessori method of education, New Zealand, Oceania, Parent and child, Parent-teacher relationships, Special education, Teacher-student relationships

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Abstract/Notes: There is very little research about children with Autism in Montessori early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand. This study examined parents’ and teachers’ perspectives of children with Autism attending Montessori early childhood education environments. This thesis documents literature that explores and critiques Montessori philosophy and the teaching of children on the Autism spectrum. The purpose of this study was to gain insights into the Montessori teaching approach in early childhood education, as a supportive environment for children with Autism in the early years. However, I discovered that the Montessori environment is less than ideal if the teachers do not understand Autism Spectrum Disorder and do not make allowances for the symptoms that present themselves. It was my intention to explore the factors that complemented both Montessori and the support of children with Autism with an approach that is conducive to learning and encourages positive behavioural patterns. The findings revealed three main indicators being identified as important. These were social competence, language and communication, and individual interests and sensory implications. However, not all findings were positive. The parents all agreed that the teachers needed to be flexible and understanding in their approach, and many Montessori teachers are strict in their routine and are not prepared to sway from their teaching method to assist a child with Autism. This study suggests that Montessori early childhood teachers would benefit from professional development in the areas of including children with special needs, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly in regards to understanding the unique characteristics of children with Autism and how they can effectively use the Montessori philosophy, equipment and prepared environment to support each child’s learning and development. Suggestions for future professional learning for Montessori teachers include the provision of professional development in including children with “special needs”, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder for Montessori early childhood teachers. It is not only the Montessori philosophy and the prepared environment that supports the child with Autism, but the teacher’s awareness of the child’s needs and a willingness to be flexible in their approach.

Language: English

Published: Auckland, New Zealand, 2015

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Parent Education: The Effects of Educating Montessori Parents on the First Plane of Development in the Kindergarten Year in a Mixed-Age Classroom

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This study sought the effects of educating parents on Dr. Maria Montessori's first plane of development in a mixed-age kindergarten classroom in Southern California, USA. Students withdrawing before completing the Montessori kindergarten year formed the basis for tailoring an action research project that informs parents about the importance of Montessori's first plane of development through the lens of Parent Development Theory. The researcher first explored past action research on relevant Montessori parent education studies. Next, twenty-five parents from a mixed-age Montessori kindergarten class participated in a six-week study. The research concluded that parents' understanding and valuing of the Montessori kindergarten year or final year in their students' early childhood education increased based on pre-and-post parent surveys and hands-on parent education experiences. The increase in parent knowledge resulted in the participants utilizing tailored information to make informed decisions about their student's kindergarten year on whether or not to keep their students enrolled for the full three-year period of the Montessori program. The researcher developed a more streamlined, focused, and comprehensive parent education plan than before the study began.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2019

Article

Understanding Teacher Identity Construction: Professional Experiences of Becoming Indonesian Montessori Teachers

Available from: Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (IJELTAL)

Publication: Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics (IJELTAL), vol. 5, no. 1

Pages: 1-16

Asia, Australasia, Indonesia, Montessori method of education, Southeast Asia

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Abstract/Notes: This study sought to investigate the identity construction of Indonesian Montessori teachers. The research was done in two Montessori schools in Yogyakarta: Cosmic School and Universe School (pseudonyms). The participants involved in this research were eight teachers in total. The data gathering process employed questionnaire, classroom observation, interview, and written reflections. The findings have shed a light on the ways teachers develop their identities within Montessori’s values and principles that they reflect and implement in their daily teaching practice. The findings of the research portrayed that there were four major salient principles influencing the identity formation of becoming Montessori teachers. They were movement and cognition, choice, interest, and teacher ways and child ways. Those principles and values were becoming teachers’ guidance of creating professional working ethos. Montessori principles also influenced the teachers in the ways they perceived and treated the students. This study also revealed the undertaken agencies to hold identity as Montessori teachers. There were three broad themes to explain their agencies. They entailed the essence of building communication between teacher and parents, the significance of community support, and the importance of being well-prepared teachers. Based on the findings and discussion, some recommendations for future studies are also presented.

Language: English

DOI: 10.21093/ijeltal.v5i1.539

ISSN: 2527-8746

Doctoral Dissertation

Barriers Contributing to the Minimal Participation of African American Parents in Their Children's Schools: A Qualitative Case Study of African American Parent Involvement in an Urban K–8 Elementary School in Minnesota

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

African American community, African Americans, Americas, North America, Early childhood education - Parent participation, Montessori method of education, Montessori schools, North America, Parent participation, Parent-teacher relationships, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: This research is a case study of African American parent involvement at a urban Montessori school in Minnesota. African American parents at this school have had limited involvement in conferences, PTSO meetings, school activities, and on the Site-Based Leadership Team. An examination of the literature was made to investigate the influences on African American parents when they make decisions about their parental involvement. This research covered the historical background, theoretical background, implications, racial barriers, and strategies that increased African American parent involvement. An ethnography was designed to gather data from 9 mothers of African American students. These parents provided information about their backgrounds and their experiences with the school. Staff at the school (6) were interviewed as to their experiences with African American parent involvement. The results of the study offer findings on attitudes, perceptions, needs and ideas for improving African American parent involvement at any school.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2000

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

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

Doctoral Dissertation

Assessing Relationships Among Autonomy, Supportive Leadership, and Burnout in Public Elementary Teachers

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Self-determination, Self-determination theory

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Abstract/Notes: Stress and burnout among teachers are serious problems because of the negative consequences associated with them that have contributed to the current crisis in the American education system. Until the problems of teacher stress and burnout are understood and addressed, efforts to restructure American education cannot succeed. This study assessed the relationships among perceived autonomy, perceived transformational leadership style and burnout in public elementary teachers, and the moderating/mediatinginfluence of teacher orientation (Montessori and traditional) on burnout levels. An integration of Maslach’s multi-dimensional burnout theory, self-determination theory, and the theory of transformational leadership formed the theoretical foundation of the study. A nonexperimental correlational design was used with survey methodology. A convenience sample of 82 public elementary teachers were recruited via educator social media sites and professional associations. Participants completed an online survey viaSurvey Monkey. Multiple regression analyses determined strong negative relationships among the predictor variables and the three dimensions of burnout as well as the significant predictive power of the independent variables. Moderation analyses determined a significant influence of teacher orientation across these relationships. The mediation analysis determined that teaching autonomy was a significant mediator between teacher orientation and emotional exhaustion burnout. The results from this study may be used for positive social change by developing strategies to mitigate burnout in public elementary teachers, increase engagement, improve teacher retention, ultimately improving student achievement and engagement.

Language: English

Published: Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2022

Book

Evaluation of the Indianapolis Public Schools' Montessori Option (K-6) Pupil Progress Report

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Abstract/Notes: Parents and guardians of children in the Indianapolis Public Schools' Montessori Option Program for kindergartners through sixth graders were surveyed. Parents and guardians were surveyed on: (1) the pupil progress report, which was used on a pilot basis during the 1988-89 school year; (2) the Montessori method; (3) strengths and weaknesses of the program; and (4) changes the program needed. Questionnaires were sent to the households of 536 pupils and to 50 school staff members in the 3 Montessori Option elementary schools. Parents and guardians replied positively to 25 closed-ended questions; were neutral about none; and responded negatively to four. School staff replied positively to 27; were neutral about none; and responded negatively to two. Parents and guardians expressed concern about more than 46 survey-related topics. Parent-initiated topics included: competitiveness and comparison between students, curriculum design and development, learning environments, parent-teacher conferences, program expansion, public school use of Montessori philosophy, and staff certification and training. School staff expressed concern about classroom mangagement, instructional materials, parent involvement, parent-teacher conferences, skills and knowledge analysis, student progress, and the district-wide testing program. Questions and responses (along a Likert-type scale) are provided for parents and school staff members. Parents and guardians of children in the Indianapolis Public Schools' Montessori Option Program for kindergartners through sixth graders were surveyed. Parents and guardians were surveyed on: (1) the pupil progress report, which was used on a pilot basis during the 1988-89 school year; (2) the Montessori method; (3) strengths and weaknesses of the program; and (4) changes the program needed. The survey instrument consisted of a section on respondent characteristics, 32 closed-ended questions, and three open-ended questions. The five sections of the survey covered the evaluation key, report card headings and philosophy, report card delivery to parents and guardians, and basic principles of the Montessori method. The survey elicited parent opinions about the program. The households of 536 pupils and 50 school staff members in the 3 Montessori Option elementary schools received questionnaires. This main report describes survey methodology, reports results and conclusions, and offers recommendations. Related materials are appended. Parents and guardians of children in the Indianapolis Public Schools' Montessori Option Program for kindergartners through sixth graders were surveyed. Parents and guardians were surveyed on: (1) the pupil progress report, which was used on a pilot basis during the 1988-89 school year; (2) the Montessori method; (3) strengths and weaknesses of the program; and (4) changes the program needed. The survey instrument consisted of a section on respondent characteristics, 32 closed-ended questions, and 3 open-ended questions. The five sections of the survey introduced the topics of the evaluation key, report card headings and philosophy, report card delivery to parents and guardians, and basic principles of the Montessori method. The survey elicited parent opinions about the program. The households of 536 pupils and 50 school staff members in the 3 Montessori Option elementary schools received questionnaires. This appendix to the main report provides: (1) survey design input from parents, teachers, and others; (2) the Montessori Option Pupil Progress Report Survey; and (3) parent and teacher responses for each item.

Language: English

Published: Indianapolis, Indiana: Indianapolis Public Schools, 1989

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Article

Parents, Teachers Confident Students Did Well

Available from: Digital Library of the Caribbean

Publication: Barbados Advocate (Bridgetown, Barbados)

Pages: 9

Americas, Barbados, Caribbean, Latin America and the Caribbean

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Abstract/Notes: Article text: The Springer Memorial Secondary School was a hive of activity and nervous excitement as students, stationery in hand, made their way into the school to sit the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) on Tuesday. Nervous parents were left on the outside of the school grounds standing and awaiting the return of their child or ward upon completion of the two-part 11-Plus examination, consisting of English and Mathematics. Mitchelle Maxwell, Deputy Principal of the Springer Memorial Secondary School, told the media, “We have 252 students comprising Blackman and Gollop Primary, Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary, Belmont Primary, St. Giles Primary and a few students from various schools such as St. Angela’s Primary, Happy Vale Montessori Primary School, registered to take the Barbados Secondary School Examination. “Preparations were put in place from Friday ensuring the rooms were ready, and security checks were done this morning at 6:30 a.m. prior to the exam. “We expect to have a smooth operation as it pertains to the examination this morning, which is broken up into two – Essay and Grammar, and Mathematics.” Parent, Troy Johnson, was one of the many parents and guardians on the outside of the Springer Memorial school as he waited on daughter, Zaria Johnson. He told The Barbados Advocate, “I am more nervous than my daughter. During the course of the time it was okay, but this morning the flutters have it. “She has been going to lessons and doing extra work in between, so hopefully she will do well to pass for her first choice Springer Memorial.” Calvin Williams was amongst the parents standing outside the gate. He noted, “I was not worried by the threatened actions of the Barbados Union of Teachers affecting the 11-Plus children. I was more worried of after the 11-Plus and the correction of the papers and the possibility of late results, but other than that I was not worried about the 11-Plus. “In terms of my daughter, I am very confident she will do well. Whatever she does will be good for me. She has already made me proud in NAPSAC and I am grateful for whatever she does. At present she attends the St. Giles Primary and I must commend her teacher, Mr. Stoute, for his passionate attitude in teaching the students, my daughter included. The students in his class also have great respect for him and they tend to do well during the term. I have no doubt she and the other St. Giles students will do good.” After the first part of the exam was finished, students came out smiling as they related to parents and guardians their prowess in the English section of the exam. However, it was the Mathematics paper which reduced many to tears upon leaving the exam room, running into the arms of their parents, tears streaming down their faces. Lisa Wiles, a student of Charles F. Broome Memorial, told The Barbados Advocate, “2016 paper was harder than 2015 paper. The Composition and Grammar was easy, but Section Two and Three of the Mathematics paper was hard. I am relieved the exam is over and I hope I pass for my first choice of Queen’s College.” Teacher John Gittens of Charles F. Broome Memorial noted, “I am very confident my students did well. Some of them said Section Three of the Mathematics paper was challenging, but my children were well prepared. Children at Charles F. Broome are generally well prepared. It is concerning a lot are in tears about the Mathematics paper, but generally we will do well. I do not like to see them crying because I like them to be able to conquer challenges. The fact there are tears means there are sums or one particular sum that was challenging, but I always tell them there are things you may not be comfortable with, but just apply yourself to it because that is just fear. “Now the exam is finished, some of the students will be taken to Divi Southwinds for a treat arranged by their parents where they can relax and have fun. The next day at school, we will review the exam papers with them and show them where they went wrong so they can apply it later on.”

Language: English

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