Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

From boutique to big box: A case study concerning teacher change transitioning to a public Montessori elementary school
by Van Acker, Teresa A., Ed.D., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2013, 249; 3609604
Abstract (Summary)

Public Montessori schools have grown in number significantly in the United States. This case study chronicles the journey of teachers as they navigate the tension of balancing the Montessori approach with an accountability Standards model. Although Montessori may be in demand among parents in the nation, exhibited by the increase in public Montessori schools, this approach remains in the niche, or boutique, versus the big box of standards education. In this case study, teachers from a large standards-based school in transition to becoming a public Montessori school answered self-reflective survey questions and were observed in their classrooms to verify their responses. Using this approach, the teachers' practice and reflections were compared and contrasted against the teachers' proclaimed continuum for balancing the dual curriculums of Montessori and Standards-based instruction. Twelve teachers were then interviewed and observed to examine their ability to change. The descriptive feedback from these teachers gave insight into the challenges and successes of implementing complex instructional change. Among significant findings was that some teachers in a short time were able to successfully balance the two curriculum mandates. This study's results revealed that given a complex criteria of support, motivated and experienced teachers could implement this change. This study opens the possibility that under certain circumstances, Montessori boutique education could be replicated in a public Big Box way.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reitzug, Rick
Commitee: Davis, Ann, Lashley, Carl, Vilaverde, Leila
School: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department: School of Education: Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 75/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Pedagogy, Elementary education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Montessori, Practice, Teacher change, Teacher support
Publication Number: 3609604
ISBN: 978-1-303-68581-1
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