Senior Thesis

Topics: Montessori method, Educational psychology, High school Pages: 16 (5670 words) Published: March 18, 2014

Montessori Education versus alternative education; Cognitive Outcomes, Creative outcomes & Behavioral Outcomes Beth A. Beehler
Metropolitan State College of Denver
PSYCH 4960


Does Montessori education provide society with children who are better educated? In this senior thesis we will examined several studies in depth to try and pull an answer to this question. Education is multi-dimensional. Education is a complex activity that tests students motivation, and physical condition (Al, Sari, & Kahya, 2012). Montessori education has been around for over 100 years, and there are over 4,000 Montessori school in just United States (Lillard, 2012). Maria Montessori founded this philosophy in 1907 in the slums of Rome. Here, Maria Montessori was a physician, who worked with children who were mentally disabled. She stepped outside of this box and decided to help children who were not developed or were from low-income families. You may be curious as to what makes Montessori different from a traditional school, the first key is that Montessori is child led. Teachers are there to guide a child and assist when needed. The second key about Montessori education is that there is a set of materials specifically designed to help children learn through action. Montessori is about doing and being active in the work you do. Also in a Montessori classroom the children are of mixed ages. They tend to span in three year increments; i.e.: 3-6 years old, 6-9 years old, and 9-12 years old etc… The children are allowed long periods of work time. This allows the child to have the freedom to choose the work they want to work on for as long as they need to (Hazel & Allen, 2013). Traditional pedagogy is characterized by a specific teacher who stands in the front of the class, traditional pedagogy is also impersonal because there are so many students in the class and one teacher, and lastly the importance of abstract knowledge is not always linked to everyday life. The teacher teaches what she mastered her skills in (Besancon & Lubart, 2007). In this paper three major areas are going to be discussed. The first topic is the cognitive outcomes of Montessori children versus traditional schools. In this section we reviewed three studies that have been done in the last ten years that give detailed answers to which philosophy of education produces children with a better academic outcome. The second topic that was put under the microscope was the creative giftedness of children who attend Montessori schools and well as the creative giftedness of children who attended a traditional educational school. The last area that was examined was the behavioral and motivational outcomes of children, depending on the educational philosophy they received.

The purpose of thesis is to review as well as critique a body of work pertaining to Montessori versus alternative educational practices, address theoretical foundations, identify issues for future research and provide synthesized conclusions regarding and the cognitive outcomes, behavioral outcomes and the creative outcomes of these educational philosophies.

Literature Review
The impact of Montessori education up against alterative programs is hard to find. Montessori has been around for over 100 years. Researchers are trying to have a better understanding on the outcomes regarding the development in children who attend Montessori and non-Montessori schools. In the research done by Angeline Lillard in 2012, it was hypothesized that classic Montessori schools would out-perform traditional school in their cognitive outcomes. It was also hypothesized that classic Montessori children would outperform supplemented Montessori programs. Lastly Lillard hypothesized that supplemental Montessori programs would perform better than conventional schools. Lillard wanted to know two things; one, do preschoolers school readiness change from fall to spring as a function of the kind of...

References: Al, S., Sari, R.M., & Kahya, N.C. (2012). A different perspective on education: Montessori and montessori
school architecture
Bagby, J., Barnard-Brak, L. Sulak, T., Jones, N., & Walter, M. (2012). The effects of environment on
children’s executive function: A study of three private schools
BesanCon, M., Lubart, T., & Barbot, B. (2013). Creative giftedness and educational opportunities.
Educational & Child Psychology, 30, 79-88.
BesanCon, M., & Lubart, T. (2008). Differences in the development of creative competencies in children
schooled in diverse learning environments
Byun, W., Blair, S.N., & Pate, R.R. (2012). Objectively measured sedentary behavior in preschool
children: Comparison between Montessori and traditional preschools
Dohrmann, K.R., Nishida, T.K., Gartner, A., Lipsky, D.K., & Grimm, K.J. (2007). High school outcomes for
students in public Montessori program
Foschi, R. (2008). Science and culture around the montessori’s first “children’s house” in rome. Journal
of the history of the Behavioral Sciences, 44, 238-257
Hazel, C.E., & Allen, W.B. (2013). Creating inclusive communities through pedagogy at three
elementary schools
Lillard, A. (2012). Preschool children’s development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori,
and conventional programs
Lillard, A. (2006). Montessori: The science behind the genius. Applied Developmental Psychology, 27,
Rathunde, K., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2005). Middle school students’’ motivation and quality of
experience: A comparison of Montessori and traditional school environments
Rose, S.E., Jolley, R.P., & Charman, A. (2012). An investigation of expressive and representational
drawing development in national curriculum, steiner and Montessori schools
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