Cultivating Student Engagement a Study for a Montessori Early Childhood Classroom

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Title Cultivating Student Engagement a Study for a Montessori Early Childhood Classroom
Creator Tina L. Willmore
Subject Self-Determination theory; engagement and motivation; early childhood; Montessori Method; MEd
Description The primary purpose of this qualitative action research project was to find effective elements and methods for generating student engagement in my Montessori early childhood classroom. An additional purpose was to determine how the Montessori Method itself, with its prepared environment, affects student engagement in the learning process. The setting was an early childhood classroom in a small, private Montessori school. Within a multi-age classroom of nineteen students, four were selected from the three-year-old age group as the focus for this study. Data was collected for six months and included student artifacts, observations, assessments, photo journals, and video recordings. Additionally, there were teacher interviews and a reflective journal. Unexpectedly aligning with the self-determination theory of building relationship, autonomy, and competence in the classroom, ten tools emerged for cultivating student engagement. Because those three fundamental elements were so complementary, the optimum impact was achieved more easily when they were combined as integrated components of a whole. Additionally, the Montessori Method was found to integrate successfully and seamlessly, reinforcing the ten tools discussed. A significant finding was that student wandering or "watching" could actually be an observational learning behavior and should be encouraged, within boundaries. Both the Ten Tools discovered and the Engagement Rating Scale could be useful to cultivate student engagement, either inside or outside of a Montessori setting. Further research could be done to customize for K-12.
Publisher Westminster College
Date 2016-05
Type Text; Image
Language eng
Rights Management Digital copyright 2016, Westminster College. All rights Reserved.
Metadata Cataloger Claire Prasad
ARK ark:/87278/s60g6t9k
Setname wc_ir
Date Created 2016-08-12
Date Modified 2016-08-12
ID 1094175
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60g6t9k