Montessori vs. Traditional Schooling By: Renee Castro Is the Montessori philosophy on education more effective in terms of school readiness as compared to “Traditional” public school education? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKFwH5QlYoY Development of the Brain • Brain Development and Early Learning (Edie & Schmid 2007) – 90% of all brain development occurs by age of 5 – During preschool years the brain begins to make best use of efficiency – Brain develops more quickly between birth and age five than during any other time Early Childhood Education • Birth-2nd grade • Geared to give the young child a jumpstart to learning. • NYC DOE Standards – gaining ability in using different art media and materials in a variety of ways for creative expression and representation – beginning to recognize print and sound connections – understanding patterns, relations and functions in math School Readiness • Researchers, policymakers, and advocates of early childhood have described school readiness in different ways: – Researchconnections.org • State of early development that enables an individual child to engage in and benefit from first grade learning experiences – Child trends research brief • physical development, motor development, social and emotional development, language development, cognition and general knowledge • Schools should also be able to provide smooth transitions between the home and school for new students – ACS & DOE • three part affair where children are ready for school, families are ready to support their children’s learning, and schools are ready for children Montessori vs Traditional School • Montessori – goal of education is to develop natural interests and activities rather than use formal teaching methods. – Method where the students learning develops from there own interest, experiences, and interactions with the environment and specific materials that are meant to enhance this idea of self teaching. • Traditional public school based on a general curriculum and standards as designed by the NYC DOE Purpose of This Research • To compare different methods of education that may in fact be more effective in preparing children for elementary school. • The study will look at both Traditional public school pre-kindergarten programs and Montessori Early Childhood education programs, compare and contrast the two in an effort to distinguish which program is more effective in achieving school readiness So who cares and why….? • Previous studies have compared traditional public schools and Montessori schools learning effects in elementary and Middle school. • Maria Montessori based her work originally on early childhood yet there is little to no research that discusses the effectiveness of her methods in preschoolers • Important to conduct this research in order to compare the Montessori method as an effective alternative to the public school system. Crain, 2011; Ross, 2012 • Maria Montessori – Dedicated herself to the actual teaching of children – Influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, both believed children were different from adults in the way that they learned – First began work with children by educating poor children in San Lorenzo, Rome • Casa dei Bambini – Montessori method- child taking the world in through hands, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth; physical exploration of the world – Sensitive periods • Primarily during first three years of a child’s life • Point where the child has a strong need for order • Four sensitive periods Independent Mastery • Child learn on their own through their experiences and interactions as opposed to through teacher guidance • Montessori classroomteachers do not direct learning instead children work toward independent mastery • Instruction based on sensorial materials developed by Maria Montessori (Ryniker & Shoho, 2001) – Textured – Visual – Self correcting Ryniker & Sholw(2001), • Study took a elementary student perspective approach on Montessori Schools vs. traditional school. • Montessori and traditional elementary classrooms differ in different domains • Results showed – Montessori classrooms less competitive, less structured, more student centered, and more innovative than traditional classrooms. – Traditional schools were rated higher on teacher control as well as competition which the researcher believes may be a result of trying to complete a task as well as the standardized assignment and the emphasis on grades • Study concluded – Montessori classrooms stress a workshop approach where the goal is for each student to be pursuing the next level of achievement in an area of interest which often leads the class into unexpected areas of study – Traditional school the students generally are dependent on information and assignments which come from the teacher Academic Achievement/ Performance Outcomes • the extent to which a student, teacher or school has achieved their educational goals • Lopata et al., 2005 – Four demographically similar traditional public, magnet city schools and Montessori schools found equal math and worse language arts outcomes for 8th graders and 4th graders in the different programs performed equally • Dohrmann et al., 2007 – Found that children who had attended public Montessori programs from ages 3 to 11 performed better at ages 15 to 18 in math and science than demographically-matched classmates who had been in other programs through the 5th grade Lillard, 2012 • Do preschool children's school readiness skills change from fall to spring as a function of program type ie: Classic Montessori, Supplemented Montessori, or Conventional? • Within Montessori programs, does the percentage of children using Montessori materials in a classroom predict children's school readiness skills in the spring, after controlling for fall skill levels? – Study showed inconsistencies in different areas of the research and did not fully support the hypothesis that the gains of children in Classic Montessori programs would exceed those of children in Conventional programs for the outcomes tested “Where public schools were failing was a place where Montessori education might make a difference”, Rambusch, 2007. • Gap in this research: – lack of research on early childhood education. • Is the Montessori philosophy on education more effective in terms of school readiness as compared to “traditional” pubic school education? • Hypothesis: – Montessori education, if followed how originally intended by Maria Montessori, is a more effective method of achieving school readiness in preschoolers than traditional public school • Method Participants: (schools selected for this study will be NYC schools from the same schools district) – 45 pre-kindergarten students in three classrooms in a Montessori school\ – 45 pre-kindergarten students in three classrooms in a public school. • Instrument: • Experimental design comparing Montessori and Traditional to determine which instructional method promotes school readiness: – Pre and post test in the study will be a school readiness inventory prepared by the research based on the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core as designed by the New York State Department of Education. – All participants given an identical pre-test at the beginning of the study; cognitive development, social emotional development, and language development. – Learn for the course of the school year with the schools respective educational philosophy – Teachers and the researchers will take observational anecdotal records of student and class progress on the variables included in the pre-test instrument. – Identical post test at end of school year Results • Statistical analysis comparing pre and post test scores of the school readiness inventory for each school • Researcher will look at all variables separately for each school and as an overall category of school readiness. • Test will be then conducted to compare scores of Montessori schools to the public school. • The researcher will review teacher and researcher anecdotal records to account for any possible differentiating or existential factors that may influence the results of the study. • By looking at the scores of the pre and post-test scores, it is expected to see a significantly greater increase in scores among Montessori students then that of students in public school when it comes to school readiness for all variables. • • • Discussion If Montessori is a more effective alternative to traditional public school – parents may turn to a Montessori education as a choice for early childhood – policy makers may ultimately adopt a Montessori philosophy for early childhood education. However, results may that Montessori is more effective within some variables while traditional school more effective in others. – Ideally for future research to examine and possibly create a mixed method of learning including both components of Montessori education and traditional public education If traditional public school students pre-post test score show no significant difference – Different pre-school interventions do not have an effect on school readiness. – Montessori Method may only prepare students to advance onto other Montessori schools not necessarily to a traditional public school. – Montessori does not focus on test taking but rather observation, Montessori students may not have been as adequately prepared for post test as traditional pre-kindergarteners. Discussion (cont.) • Possible Limitations: – May be difficult to find a public school with multiple pre-kindergarten classrooms – Lack of similar SES. • Most Montessori schools are private schools in which parents pay a fee or tuition to enroll their child. Public schools may have students of different SES backgrounds which may play a roll in results of this study. • Future research may account for this by having a group of students of similar age and SES and randomly assigning them to one of two conditions, traditional or Montessori Method of education. References: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Ackerman, D. J., & Barnett, W. S. (2005). Prepared for Kindergarten: What Does ''Readiness'' Mean? National Institute for Early Education Research (U.S.), Damore, S. (2004). A Road Map: Montessori Curriculum and Learner Outcomes. Montessori Life, 16(4), 30-35. Dodd, C. J. (2002). Our Children, Our Future. Montessori Life, 14(3), 14-16. Edie, D., Schmid, D. (2007). 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