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Doctoral Dissertation (Ph.D.)

Longitudinal Academic Achievement Outcomes: Modeling the Growth Trajectories of Montessori Public Elementary School Students

Available from: ProQuest - Dissertations and Theses

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Abstract/Notes: Elementary education has theoretical underpinnings based on cognitive psychology. Ideas from cognitive psychologists such as James, Dewey, Piaget, and Vygotsky coalesce to form constructivism (Cooper, 1993; Yager, 2000; Yilmaz, 2011). Among others, the Montessori Method (1912/1964) is an exemplar of constructivism. Currently, public education in the United States is heavily impacted by the No Child Left Behind legislation (Paige, 2006) which emphasizes high stakes academic achievement testing. Absent from the literature is an examination of the academic achievement of Montessori students in public education. This study explores the academic achievement outcomes of public school students who completed varying numbers of years in Montessori elementary education. Singer and Willett's (2003) multilevel model of change serves as the statistical tool utilized to explore the academic achievement outcomes of a first grade cohort through their elementary and secondary school careers. Accrued years in Montessori did not account for significant variance amongst the trajectories, and gender and ethnicity, when considered without the interactions with accrued years, had minimal impact. Socioeconomic status, when the variable of accrued years in Montessori was removed from the equation, was a significant predictor of reading and math achievement.

Language: English

Published: Commerce, Texas, 2014

Doctoral Dissertation

The Impact of Montessori Teaching on Academic Achievement of Elementary School Students in a Central Texas School District: A Causal-Comparative Inquiry

Available from: Texas A&M University

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Abstract/Notes: Providing a meaningful and experiential learning environment for all students has long created a concern for alternate ways to teach students who are reportedly demonstrating non-mastery on state standardized assessments. As the benchmark for showing successful academic achievement increases, so does the need for discovering effective ways for students to learn. The Montessori teaching method has been in existence since the early 1900s when Dr. Montessori made her discovery of the student learning process. Dr. Montessori connected to the laws of nature and the environment for creating students who are problem-solvers with critical-thinking skills. The Montessori Method is designed to promote independent learning and support normal development in children. A Montessori lesson is defined as any interaction between an adult and a child; it incorporates techniques that are defined to serve as guidance for the adult personality in working with the child. The study investigated the impact of Montessori Method on the academic achievement of 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) was used to measure academic achievement in reading and mathematics. An ex post facto, causal-comparative design was employed. The characteristic-present samples consisted of 47 3rd, 40 4th, and 44 5th graders. There were 71 3rd, 60 4th, and 49 5th graders in the comparison samples. Due to non-probability nature of the sampling technique, external validity was limited to study participants. Due to non-experimental nature of the study, no causal inferences were drawn. A series of Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) showed that there were no statistically significant differences between the students who received the Montessori Method of instruction and those who did not on the basis of the outcome measures of academic achievement in reading and mathematics. The mean difference effect sizes, which were used to examine the practical significance of the findings, ranged from negligible to small. Although the results of the study did not support the hypothesis, it must be pointed out that the Montessori Method of teaching facilitates self-paced learning that promotes a child's independence and encourages decision-making which are instrumental in becoming successful learners. Additionally, Montessori advocates experiences that are "real-world" and allow children to build intrinsic motivational opportunities; therefore, creating independent thinkers that will be competitive problem-solvers in the global economy of the 21st century. The limited studies on the Montessori Method of teaching offer opportunities for further investigation at all grade levels. For example, it is recommended to conduct a study to compare students who receive Montessori education during the early years of their academic life with those who receive Montessori education from pre-k to high school graduation. Because the Montessori name does not have a trademark, there are opportunities for investigating Montessori teacher preparation and comparing the preparation of the teachers to the standardized assessment results. There are also opportunities for investigating the method and curriculum used at schools that carry the name Montessori for comparison purposes amongst Montessori schools as well as in comparison to the results of the standardized assessments at these schools.

Language: English

Published: Corpus Christi, Texas, 2013

Article

✓ Peer Reviewed

Academic Achievement Outcomes: A Comparison of Montessori and Non-Montessori Public Elementary School Students

Available from: Journal of Elementary Education

Publication: Journal of Elementary Education, vol. 25, no. 1

Pages: 39-53

Americas, Comparative education, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Within the realm of elementary public schools, several pedagogical models of early childhood education are practiced in the United States (Lillard, 2005). The constructivist approach to early childhood education is illustrative of best practices based on current theory. One model of constructivist early childhood education is the Montessori Method founded in the early twentieth century by Maria Montessori, an Italian physician (Montessori, 1912/1964). Though the Montessori Method is aligned with research-based best practices espoused by constructivism, there are relatively few public Montessori schools currently in the United States. A direct comparison is needed between the academic outcomes of public elementary school programs which implement the Montessori Method and those which implement a more traditional approach to early childhood education. The focus of this study is the academic achievement outcomes of Montessori public school students as compared to similar non-Montessori students. The Montessori students’ Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Total Reading and Total Math scores in grades one and two were not statistically different than their non-Montessori counterparts. In grade three, the Montessori students’ Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) Reading and Math scores were not statistically different than those of the non-Montessori students. In grades four and five, the TAKS Reading and Math scores statistically favored Montessori students.

Language: English

ISSN: 2227-1090, 1991-8100

Article

✓ Peer Reviewed

The Impact of Using Activities Based on the Montessori Approach in Science in the Academic Achievement of Fourth Grade Students

Available from: International Journal of Instruction

Publication: International Journal of Instruction, vol. 12, no. 2

Pages: 695-708

Academic achievement, Montessori method of education, Science - Study and teaching

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Abstract/Notes: This study investigated the effect of using activities based on the Montessori approach in science academic achievement of the fourth grade students. A quasiexperimental design was used wherein the students were equally divided into two groups: the experimental and the control group. Both groups consisted of 31 students. To achieve the aim of the study, Montessori Hall has been set up with six dimensions, and each corner has several shelves comprised different materials used for conducting the science activities. In addition, a teacher guide was prepared to be used by the teacher to implement the Montessori approach for the experimental group. Finally, an achievement test that consisted of seven multiple choice questions (MCQs) and five short answer questions was constructed and administered to both study groups. The results of the study indicated that there were statistically significant differences at the level of significance (P ≤ 0.05) between the mean values of the experimental and the control groups in the academic achievement in favor of the experimental group. In light of the study results, the study recommends holding training workshops for teachers on how to use the Montessori approach in teaching science classes.

Language: English

DOI: 10.29333/iji.2019.12244a

ISSN: 1308-1470, 1694-609X

Article

What? No Grades? Understanding Academic Achievement in Montessori Classrooms

Publication: Tomorrow's Child, vol. 17, no. 1

Pages: 5–8, 23, 26–27

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Language: English

ISSN: 1071-6246

Article

✓ Peer Reviewed

Montessori vs. Traditional Education in the Public Sector: Seeking Appropriate Comparisons of Academic Achievement

Available from: ERIC

Publication: Forum on Public Policy, vol. 2007, no. 2

Pages: 23 p.

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

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Abstract/Notes: Recent years have provided an interest on the part of public school systems regarding Montessori as an educational choice, often as a magnet school option. "No Child Left Behind" legislation emphasizes the social and learning needs of individual children as well as a national spirit of accountability for academic achievement, and the public sector is making a comprehensive examination of curriculum delivery systems which can provide benefits for all learners in quantifiable ways, most often in the form of standardized test scores which demonstrate improved student achievement. This study examines the relationship of public Montessori education expressed as Stanford Achievement Test scores in reading and math in comparison with similar scores for students in traditional programs, using a within subjects, matched pairs design of repeated measures over a three year period. Math scores for the groups were not observed to be significantly different, although, following the initial observation, the Montessori group continued to produce increasingly higher mean scores than the traditional students. Marginal significance between the groups suggests that the data analysis should continue to elucidate a possible trend toward significance. Reading scores for the groups demonstrated significant differences, and in the second and third years of the study, Montessori students produced means which consistently outperformed the traditional group.

Language: English

ISSN: 1556-763X, 1938-9809

Doctoral Dissertation (Ed.D.)

A Comparison of Academic Achievement for Seventh Grade and Eighth Grade Students from Montessori and Non-Montessori School Programs

Available from: ProQuest - Dissertations and Theses

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

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a difference exists between the academic progress of seventh and eighth grade students who attended Texas public Montessori schools and the academic progress of their peers who attended matched non- Montessori schools. Specifically, this study sought to determine whether students enrolled in Montessori programs had higher percentages of passing rates on state mandated criterion referenced tests than students enrolled in non-Montessori programs for early adolescents. Research questions were posed and corresponding research hypotheses were tested within the subject matter disciplines of reading and mathematics in the seventh grade and within the subject matter disciplines of reading mathematics, science, and social studies in the eighth grade. In all but one analysis, the Montessori students had higher passing percentages than non-Montessori students. Seventh grade Montessori students had higher passing percentages in math and higher passing percentages in reading. Eighth grade Montessori students had higher passing percentages on reading, science, math and social studies. The study provided evidence that Montessori programs for early adolescents produce favorable academic outcomes when compared with their matched non-Montessori counterparts in public schools.

Language: English

Published: Stephenville, Texas, 2011

Article

✓ Peer Reviewed

Working Memory and Executive Functions: Effects of Training on Academic Achievement

Available from: Springer Link

Publication: Psychological Research, vol. 78, no. 6

Pages: 852-868

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Abstract/Notes: The aim of this review is to illustrate the role of working memory and executive functions for scholastic achievement as an introduction to the question of whether and how working memory and executive control training may improve academic abilities. The review of current research showed limited but converging evidence for positive effects of process-based complex working-memory training on academic abilities, particularly in the domain of reading. These benefits occurred in children suffering from cognitive and academic deficits as well as in healthy students. Transfer of training to mathematical abilities seemed to be very limited and to depend on the training regime and the characteristics of the study sample. A core issue in training research is whether high- or low-achieving children benefit more from cognitive training. Individual differences in terms of training-related benefits suggested that process-based working memory and executive control training often induced compensation effects with larger benefits in low performing individuals. Finally, we discuss the effects of process-based training in relation to other types of interventions aimed at improving academic achievement.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1007/s00426-013-0537-1

ISSN: 0340-0727

Doctoral Dissertation (Ed.D.)

The Impact of Multi-Age Instruction on Academic Performance in Mathematics and Reading

Available from: ProQuest - Dissertations and Theses

Academic achievement, Americas, Elementary education, Mathematics education, Nongraded schools, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Teachers and administrators are faced with a basic question when planning for a school year: how should the students be grouped when coming to school? Should students of similar age be together or should students be assigned to multi-age classrooms at the elementary school level? If the multi-age method is chosen, how will academic progress be affected by this instructional strategy? And, in the end, will the students in a multi-age setting perform similar to students who are in traditional group setting on standardized tests? The question of multi-age grouping and academic performance was the focus of this study. The purpose of this study was to compare the academic performance in reading and mathematics of third- and fifth-grade students who have completed three years of multi-age instruction with the academic performance of students in third and fifth grade who have been instructed in the similar-aged traditional classroom. The study compared test scores of students in third and fifth grades using the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment exams. This study determined that there was no significant difference in the scholastic performance between the groups of students who were instructed in the multi-age instructional settings compared to the traditional same age setting. The multi-age setting does allow for positive social settings particularly the opportunity for students to take leadership roles with fellow classmates.

Language: English

Published: Vermillion, South Dakota, 2010

Master's Thesis

A Study of the Effectiveness of Instruction in Multi-Age Grading vs. Traditional Single-Grade Level Organization on the Reading Achievement of Fourth Graders

Available from: ERIC

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Abstract/Notes: A study examined the effects of multi-age/grade instruction, compared to the traditional single-grade approach, on the reading achievement of fourth graders. Subjects, 22 fourth-graders in a single-grade class, were divided into instructional groups based on chronological age while the instructional grouping for 22 students in a combined fourth and fifth grade class at a neighboring school cut across age and grade levels. The Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills was used to measure the growth in "total reading" over a 1-year period. Results indicated no statistically significant difference between means of the two groups, although a positive mean score in favor of the multi-age instructional design was noted. (A 50-item bibliography, and the themes of study and sample lesson plans for both groups are attached.) (RS)

Language: English

Published: Danbury, Connecticut, 1989

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