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Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

A Prepared Environment At Home For One Adolescent: The Effect of Exercises of Practical Life on Self-Regulation of an Adolescent

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research, Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc.

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project investigated the effect of exercises of practical life on the self regulation of an adolescent in his prepared environment at home. Participants included two parents (of which one was the researcher) and one adolescent boy aged sixteen. The research took place over seven weeks in the home of the adolescent. The researcher prepared areas of the house to create a setting for practical life exercises. A pre-attitude scale for the adolescent and pre assessments for the parents and the adolescent provided baseline data. This data supported the selection and design of the eight materials for the project. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected on school days using a daily observation log, journal, and weekly planning questionnaire. After the project, the parents and the adolescent completed a post-assessment, and the adolescent conducted a post-attitudes scale and interview. Analysis of the data suggests that some materials supported the adolescent. The interview provided clarification of data in the observation log. The adolescent has asked to continue using some of the materials. The project has given the family confidence in their ability to work together to create systems and tools to support routine and self-regulation.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2022

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Efficacy of Community Building in Adult Online Learning Environments

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research, Montessori method of education - Study and teaching, Montessori method of education - Teacher training

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Abstract/Notes: This qualitative research study was conducted during synchronous class sessions with adult learners enrolled in an online Montessori teacher education program. The aim was to determine which techniques were being used to facilitate adult learning in an online learning environment. The research collected data through data tools designed to record the observed behaviors of participants engaged in online synchronous class sessions. The data revealed the use of learning techniques beneficial to developing self-confidence, community building, and knowledge acquisition by utilizing qualitative and quantitative research methods. This study can serve as a framework for future research projects focusing on adult learning methods and techniques that will positively impact adult learners’ experience in online learning environments. This study provided evidence that supports techniques that focus on supporting and encouraging adult learners to build self-confidence while cultivating a supportive community of learners. Overall, having synchronous class sessions appear to be beneficial to the building of community, self-confidence of the adult learners, and worthwhile use of time to evaluate the effectiveness of learning in online environments. Synchronous class sessions, accompanied by asynchronous activities of adult learners, are a very effective way of educating future teachers in the Montessori method.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2022

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Becoming and Belonging: The Effect of the Lessons of Grace and Courtesy on Peer Reverence in a Montessori Primary Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this action research project is to determine the effect of the lessons of Grace and Courtesy on children's peer reverence in a Montessori primary (ages 3-6) environment. This research study was conducted at a private Montessori School in a midwestern suburb. The four-week study was completed in a Primary Montessori environment with 13 children, ranging in age from three to six years old. During the study, data was collected on behaviors related to peer reverence and the lessons Grace and Courtesy. Data was also collected on the collective attitude, as observed and reflected on, by the adult. Data from the study showed that the use of the lessons of Grace and Courtesy correlated to the decrease in number of undesired behaviors and increase in number of desired behaviors related to peer reverence. Further study could include the effect of lessons of Grace and Courtesy on conflict resolution; the effect of the lessons of Grace and Courtesy on social skills; the effect of daily repetition of the same lesson of Grace and Courtesy; the use of cards to follow-up on the lessons of Grace and Courtesy; and the use of the lessons of Grace and Courtesy outside a Montessori environment.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2021

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Impacts of Early Childhood Professional Development on Educator Practice and Subsequent Student Experience in the Outdoor Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research, Montessori method of education

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this project was to study the impact of professional development on early childhood educator practice and its subsequent effects on toddlers’ experiences with Risky Play in the outdoor environment. The setting of this project was a toddler classroom within a Montessori school in Missouri. The population for this action research study was three adult assistant guides with varying levels of experience with Montessori and early childhood education and 10 students in a Montessori toddler classroom between the ages of 17 and 32 months. The intervention consisted of a professional development workshop related to Montessori philosophy and benefits of outdoor Risky Play paired with daily reflective journaling. Data collection included my observations, participant journals, interviews, and an attitude scale. As a result of the study, adult participants intervened with children’s play less often and in more constructive ways, and children had more positive experiences in the outdoor environment. In response to this study, future actions include implementing a classroom culture of continued coaching and reflection.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2021

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effects of Earth-Conscious Art Materials on Early Childhood Montessori Students' Environmental Awareness

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project investigates the effect of providing earth-conscious materials in the art curriculum on early childhood Montessori students' environmental awareness. The participants for this study were seven preschool students at a private, home-based Montessori school in the urban Western United States. The research design was qualitative and quantitative, utilizing field notes, observational notes, behavioral tally sheets, and group conversational questionnaires to gather information on students' environmental awareness. The students' mean eco-affinity responses increased by 16%, while their mean environmental awareness responses increased by 23%. The frequency of material usage positively correlated with the frequency of environmental actions. The findings suggest that earth-conscious art materials have a positive effect on student environmental awareness. The researcher realized that increased environmental awareness does not indicate increased ecological stewardship. The conclusion of this study urges educators to reconsider the role that art curriculum and materials play on student environmental awareness.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2020

Article

Insuring Safe Montessori Environments

Publication: CCMA Net [Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators], vol. 4, no. 1

Pages: 3-4

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Language: English

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Impact of Nonviolent Communication in an Early Childhood Montessori Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The researcher examined how Nonviolent Communication (NVC) incorporated into a Montessori primary classroom would impact student’s social-emotional learning. The students participating in this research came from multiple ethnic groups and nine were non-English speakers. Some showed evidence of trauma that resulted from living in home environments that experienced instability. The researcher modeled NVC communication in her interactions with students whenever possible and then observed and documented their reactions and behaviors during lessons on social skills in 15-minute intervals over 3 weeks. She observed students engaged in describing their feelings and concluded that NVC can be effective with consistency and guidance from the educator in a culturally competent classroom. Further research is needed to determine if NVC can be useful in enriching SEL competencies in early childhood classrooms with ELL students and students with varying degrees of trauma. This research aimed to fill the gap.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2020

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Impact of Grace and Courtesy Lessons on Self-Regulation in a Toddler Montessori Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: The skills associated with self-regulation begin in toddlerhood. This action research study was designed to assess the impact of Grace and Courtesy lessons on toddler behavior. Students participated in lessons on how to greet a friend, how to ask for a turn and how to express affection. The study took place in a Montessori toddler classroom of 14 children, aged 26-36 months old. The classroom was part of a half-day Montessori preschool located in the South Eastern United States. I used field notes and tally marks to observe behavior in the classroom. Observations were done daily, and the data collection tools tracked behavior in the classroom. Grace and courtesy lessons were offered to all students daily. While more research in this area is needed the overall impact of the Grace and Courtesy lessons showed an increase in use of language rather than physicality for expression.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2020

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

Effects of Social/Emotional Lessons in an Elementary Montessori Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This action research project was completed to test the impact of a series of lessons centered around empathy and building social skills on the students and community of a Montessori elementary classroom. The setting was a suburban school in a classroom of 15 children ages six to nine. The students were primarily Caucasian and coming from middle class families. Data was collected using a tally sheet, observational field notes, a series of journal prompts and a pre/post survey. Both Grace and Courtesy lessons and storytelling sessions were part of the intervention plan. The children participated in a variety of ways including role playing, discussions, and story sharing. The results showed that the lessons did improve the interactions between the children as well as the feelings of community. The children developed a common language and skills to more positively navigate difficult interactions.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2019

Master's Thesis (Action Research Report)

The Effect of Nature Work in a Primary-Aged Montessori Environment

Available from: St. Catherine University

Action research

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Abstract/Notes: This study investigated how children responded to participating in twenty minutes of nature-based activities that involved direct contact with dirt. The study took place in a Primary Montessori school with 27 children ages 3 to 6 years. The research was conducted over a six-week period in which a pre-assessment was conducted in the first week, followed by four weeks that consisted of presenting 20 minute Nature Work lessons on a daily basis. Once children were shown how to use the materials, data was collected regarding their participation and independent use of the materials. In addition, daily journaling by the researcher was completed to document self-reflection of children's responses to Nature Work. During the sixth week, a post-assessment was conducted to indicate whether the Nature Work intervention influenced the children's interest in connecting and engaging more deeply with nature. Results of the research suggest that the children's participation increased over the duration of the intervention. However, the perceived interest/enjoyment decreased slightly, according to the responses to the Pre- /Post-Assessment questions. The children remained engaged and interested in participating in the Nature Work options: Bulb Planting, Seedling boxes, Transplanting Plants and Worm Composting. A longer study is recommended to increase opportunity for participation in the Nature Work intervention and increase data collection.

Language: English

Published: St. Paul, Minnesota, 2018

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