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Honors Thesis

The Great Italian Educator: The Montessori Method and American Nativism in the 1910s

Available from: University of Kansas

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Abstract/Notes: The purpose of this project is to investigate to what extent Protestant nativism impeded the spread of the Montessori Method in the United States. The Montessori Method has experienced waves of popularity in America ever since it was first introduced in 1910. During the first wave of popularity, from 1910-1917, Dr. Maria Montessori, the founder, faced backlash from educators and educational philosophers for her scientific reasoning and her pedagogical and social philosophies. Some Montessori historians believe that these factors were critical in halting the spread of the Montessori Method in America in 1917. An additional theory is that Montessori’s personal identity, as an Italian Catholic woman, impeded the reception of her ideas in America. Considering that the time period was characterized by anti-Catholic rhetoric from political organizations as well as newspapers and journals, the theory makes sense. Research for this project was conducted by examining newspaper publications that covered the Montessori Method, rebuttals of the method published by American educators, and the books and articles written by Montessori advocates. Other primary sources include Catholic publications and Dr. Montessori’s own books and writings. Secondary sources, such as autobiographies of Maria Montessori’s life and examinations of nativist activity at the beginning of the 20th Century, help paint a picture of the state of America when Dr. Montessori visited in 1913. Overall, these sources indicate that anti-Catholic sentiments played a minor role, if any, in hampering the spread of the Montessori Method. Maria Montessori’s publicist, Samuel S. McClure, crafted a particular public image for Montessori, compatible with themes of social reform, Progressive educational reform, and feminism, which would appeal to most Americans. The creation of this public image is significant as it was a manifestation of the cultural upheaval experienced during the early 20th century and had lasting implications for Progressive education and the future of the Montessori Method in America. Supporters for the method emphasized the scientific foundation of the method, Dr. Montessori’s ideas for social reform through education, and the compatibility of the method with American ideals of individual freedom and responsibility. In the end, other factors such as leading educators’ disapproval of different aspects of the method, World War I, and Dr. Montessori’s personality led to the decline of the Montessori Method in America at that time.

Language: English

Published: Lawrence, Kansas, Apr 2019

Doctoral Dissertation

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Montessori Reading and Math Instruction for Third Grade African American Students in Urban Elementary Schools

Available from: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

African American children, African American community, Americas, Montessori method of education - Evaluation, Montessori schools, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Improving academic achievement for students of color has long been the subject of debate among advocates of education reform (Anyon, 2013; Breitborde & Swiniarski, 2006; Payne, 2008). Some scholars have advocated for the Montessori method as an alternative educational approach to address some chronic problems in public education (Lillard, 2005; Murray, 2011, 2015; Torrance, 2012). Montessori programs are expanding in public schools (National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, 2014c) at a time when the American public school population is more racially diverse than ever before (Maxwell, 2014). A review of the literature reflects a lack of consensus about the efficacy of Montessori elementary instruction for students of color in general, and lack of attention to outcomes for African American students specifically (Dawson, 1987; Dohrmann, Nishisda, Gartner, Lipsky, & Grimm, 2007; Lopata, Wallace, & Finn, 2005; Mallet & Schroeder, 2015). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of reading and math instruction for third grade African American students in public Montessori, traditional, and other school choice settings, using end-of-grade standardized test scores from a large, urban district in North Carolina. Stratified sampling was used to select demographically similar traditional and magnet schools for comparison. Group mean reading and math test scores were compared using factorial MANCOVA and MANOVA procedures. African American students at grade three were found to perform at significantly higher levels in both reading and math in public Montessori schools than in traditional schools. No statistically significant difference was found in math achievement between African American third grade students in public Montessori and other magnet programs, although the Montessori group did achieve at significantly higher levels in reading. This suggests that the Montessori method can be an effective pedagogy for African American students, particularly in reading. Based on these results, recommendations are provided for policy, practice, and future research.

Language: English

Published: Charlotte, North Carolina, 2016

La fortuna di Maria Montessori negli Stati Uniti d'America 1909-1989: prime linee di ricerca [The fortune of Maria Montessori in the United States of America 1909-1989: first lines of research]

Americas, Maria Montessori - Biographic sources, Montessori method of education, North America, United States of America

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Language: Italian

Published: Roma, Italy, 1988

Book Section

The Rise and Fall of Anne George as America’s Premier Montessori Educator

Available from: Springer Link

Book Title: America's Early Montessorians: Anne George, Margaret Naumburg, Helen Parkhurst and Adelia Pyle

Pages: 101-143

Americas, Anne E. George - Biographic sources, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Anne E. George, the first American trained as a directress by Montessori in 1910, is significant as the paramount Montessori educator in the United States from 1910 to 1915. George, who established the first American Montessori school in Tarrytown, New York in 1911, was also the English-language translator of Montessori’s book, The Montessori Method (1912). Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel, intent on promoting Montessori education, established the national Montessori Educational Association, with George as its Director of Research. George was also the headmistress of the Montessori schools supported by the Bells in Washington, DC. In addition, George was Montessori’s aide and translator during her extensive lecture tour in 1913. Montessori’s relationship with George deteriorated. Montessori revoked Anne George’s credentials as a Montessori directress in 1915. The ever-loyal George, who strived to replicate the Montessori Method in American private schools, and, once, the premier American Montessori educator, was discredited by her mentor. After her marriage in 1919, George never returned to the field of education.

Language: English

Published: Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020

ISBN: 978-3-030-54835-3

Series: Historical Studies in Education

Article

Self Interest: How a South Carolina Foundation Created a Public Montessori Boom [Lander University, Greenwood, South Carolina; Institute for Guided Studies]

Publication: Public School Montessorian, vol. 16, no. 2

Pages: 1, 28

Public Montessori

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Language: English

Article

'Collegiate News' in South Carolina [College of Early Learning, Columbia, South Carolina]

Publication: Montessori Observer, vol. 3, no. 7

Pages: 4

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Language: English

ISSN: 0889-5643

Article

The European Roots of Early Childhood Education in North America

Available from: Springer Link

Publication: International Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 18, no. 1

Pages: 6-21

Americas, Canada, Kindergarten (Froebel system of education) - Criticism, interpretation, etc., Montessori method of education - Criticism, interpretation, etc., North America

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Abstract/Notes: Early childhood education in North America is currently in a state of flux. While Piagetian approaches to early childhood education curricula seem to predominate in North America today, some of the influences of the other paradigms discussed below are still in evidence. The idea of nurturing children as well as educating them has endured, even with the new cognitive focus. The concept of curricula appropriate to a child’s developmental level, first introduced by Froebel, has remained an important idea. The Montessori method has enjoyed a renaissance in North America, and specially designed curricula for the disabled has been re-established as the norm, after Itard’s and Seguin’s pioneering examples. Yet, new issues in early childhood education have arisen in North America. There is a great debate on the effects of day care, the changing family, the possibility of “hurried children”, and the role of state support in a “universal” child care system. The recent Report of the task force on child care in Canada reviewed many of these issues, and used data on child care arrangements in a number of European countries compared to canada and the United States in much of its discussion. It is not surprising, given the history of models of child care which have come from Europe to North America, that North Americans are once again looking across the Atlantic for fresh ideas.

Language: English

DOI: 10.1007/BF03176578

ISSN: 0020-7187, 1878-4658

Article

Indigenous American Montessori Models: An American Montessori Elementary Teacher

Publication: Montessori Life, vol. 6, no. 1

Pages: 16–18

Americas, Indigenous communities, Indigenous peoples, North America, North America, United States of America, ⛔ No DOI found

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Language: English

ISSN: 1054-0040

Article

I Hear American Singing – Folk Songs for American Families

Publication: The National Montessori Reporter, vol. 27, no. 3

Pages: 7

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Abstract/Notes: Review

Language: English

Book

An American Montessori Elementary Teacher: Indigenous American Montessori Models

Available from: ERIC

Americas, Indigenous communities, Indigenous peoples, Nancy McCormick Rambusch - Writings, North America, United States of America

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Abstract/Notes: Maria Montessori's child-centered teaching method came to the United States in 1913 and became linked with an approach to progressive education and child rearing which many Americans considered permissive. During the post-World War II years, advocates of Montessori's method combined this permissive mode with elements of an authoritarian mode to produce an authoritative approach to teaching young children. Following this approach, educators at the Princeton Montessori School have developed and implemented a firm yet empathic teaching model for their classes. The social system which the teachers have developed in their classes respects children's intrinsic motivation in the form of a benign token economy, called a credit-debit system. In this system the rules of the classroom, and the rewards and sanctions attending the rules, are developed cooperatively between teacher and children. Teachers consider the small group as the basic unit of social organization for the presentation of lessons. Teachers present curricular subject areas in a sequence of steps which are numbered and which correspond to a set of materials preassembled by the teacher and directly accessible to the children. For each subject, students keep personal interactive journals which contain written and illustrated work for the whole year. Through these methods, teachers at the Princeton Montessori School demonstrate that they have understood the basic message of Montessori and imbedded that message in a culturally sensitive and appropriate form of schooling.

Language: English

Published: New Jersey: Princeton Center for Teacher Education, 1992

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