Cultural Relevance and Montessori

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This master's thesis research consists of a study in which the theoretical and practical congruencies between Equity Pedagogy, an essential component of multicultural education, and the pedagogical elements of Montessori Education are examined. The goals of this study are multi-tiered, existing on both a practical and an intellectual plane. On a practical level, the goals relate to Montessori classroom practice and Montessori teacher education programs. In considering the praxis of a small set of public school teachers, the practical relationship between Montessori and Equity Pedagogy begins to emerge. Praxis was explored using non-intrusive observational techniques with no videotaping. The researcher observed the teacher's manner of addressing the students in a variety of classroom contexts. Student's actions were recorded only as they are pertinent to the teacher's praxis, and identifiable student characteristics were not recorded. At no time during classroom observations will the researcher interrupt or attempt to intervene in teacher-student interactions. Interviews will follow observations in order to examine any discrepancies between teacher praxis and teacher ideology. This research will present an ethnographic case study of the public Montessori program in a suburban county bordering on a large city.