Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Maria Mendez

Committee Member

Deanne Samuels

Committee Member

Marcia O'Neil

Abstract

This qualitative study explored the changes in the practice of early childhood education (ECE) teachers in a specific Montessori program after a series of trainings. This study’s purpose was to compare the teacher practices in a Montessori preschool program before and after specific pedagogical training. The ECE teachers were trained in a four-week series of didactic sessions on Montessori philosophy and pedagogy. On week days the teachers were mentored by observation, direct feedback, and guidance of practice. Classes met 15 hours per week for a total of 60 contact hours. Prior to the beginning of the training classes a baseline of each teacher was established according to the qualities identified for the study. These qualities included the teacher’s subjective view of young children, their perception of their teaching role, and their performance with children. Following the end of the training period this process was repeated and any changes were reviewed and described. The information for this review was collected by interview, ongoing documented observation, personal narratives, and personal journals. Results of the study supported that specific Montessori training impacted the participant/teachers’ subjective view of young children, the perception of their teaching role, and their performance with children. As compared to the beginning of the study, after the four weeks of training the participant/teachers recognized a more constructivist view of how young children learn; they expressed a more reflective perception of their teaching role; and engaged in more responsive, facilitative, and less interruptive performance with children. Conclusions of the study were that providing Montessori pedagogical and philosophical training can improve the qualitative relationships of teachers with young children.

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