Ed 300 Research Proposal

Posted on

Research Question:
What historical events and trends prompted the creation of Montessori schools and how are the practices of Maria Montessori used today?

Founded by Maria Montessori, the Montessori method is aimed at teaching students independence at an early age. This teaching method gives students the ability to go freely through their classroom for certain blocks of time where they are uninterrupted and given the opportunity to correct themselves if they find they are stuck. I am very interested in researching the emergence of the Montessori method because it differs greatly from traditional public school teaching methods. The Montessori method also puts an emphasis learning throughout one’s life not just when children enter first grade; learning goes deeper, in this teaching method, than books and tests. From my experience observing a Montessori classroom children navigate through their designated spaces with a purpose and with a sense of understand of what is going on in their given space, in other words if a student is in a “cooking” station that student is well aware that he/she will be cooking, and students proceed to prepare snacks for themselves. Within the Montessori method the term “teacher” does not exist, instead guides are part of the classroom, there to assist students if they seem really stuck and unable to complete a task.
In Montessori schools students are viewed as distinctive individuals, carrying their own unique traits and characteristics, I believe this view is missing in traditional public schools, and Maria Montessori made it a point to give her students the power of uniqueness and independence, and I believe that this topic is worth studying because it will help make more clear distinctions between the Montessori method and traditional public school teaching methods.

Research Strategy:
To begin my search I went on Google Scholar, which proved to be very helpful as I found two of my sources on Google Scholar. I typed in “Maria Montessori” and “Montessori Method” to start my search and found that some helpful articles came up in my search. I was also led to Wikipedia while searching for information on the Montessori method and found that Wikipedia was helpful in leading me to one of my sources. I also used the Ed 300 “search strategies” and reached the “Education Full Text” search engine that helped me find most of my sources. I simply typed in “Maria Montessori” and “History” and found articles linked to “100 years of Montessori”, this article will be helpful in my research as I am looking at the Montessori method and its changing characteristics over time.


American Montessori Society. “Introduction to Montessori.” N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr
2014. <http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori.asp&xgt;.

Bagby, Janet1, and Tracey N.2 Sulak. “Connecting Leadership Development To
Montessori Practice.” Montessori Life 25.1 (2013): 6-7. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

Boulmier, Prairie, prairieonz@yahoo.com. “Looking At How Children Succeed,
Through A Montessori Lens.” Montessori Life 26.1 (2014): 42-46. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

Grazzini, Camillo. “The four planes of development.” NAMTA JOURNAL 29.1 (2004):

Lillard, Paula P. Montessori Today. New York: Shocken Books Inc., 1996. Print.

Rathunde, Kevin. “Montessori education and optimal experience: A framework for
new research.” NAMTA JOURNAL 26.1 (2001): 11-44.

Shortridge, P. Donohue. “Maria Montessori And Educational Forces In America.”
Montessori Life 19.1 (2007): 34-47. Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson). Web. 1 Apr. 2014.

One thought on “Ed 300 Research Proposal”

  1. Bianca, your research question and search strategy satisfies the Ed 300 guidelines and demonstrates your keen interest in this topic. As you go further, I suggest that you consider ways to refine your RQ into one (or both) of the following:
    1) An historical origins question: What historical factors led Maria Montessori and her followers to create this new way of educating students in Italy in the early 1900s?
    2) A comparative policy implementation question: Why did the Montessori movement NOT initially succeed, and why has its growth been relatively slower, in the US?

    If you’re more interested in the origins question, then look at Maria Montessori’s original text (1912), which you can freely read online:
    Montessori, Maria, Anne E. George, and Henry W. Holmes. The Montessori Method. Metodo Della Pedagogia scientifica.English. New York: Frederick, A. Stokes company, 1912. https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Maria_Montessori_The_Montessori_method?id=VPwPAAAAYAAJ.

    Or if you’re more interested in attempts to migrate Montessori’s method to the US, as seen from an historical perspective, then read:
    Whitescarver, Keith, and Jacqueline Cossentino. “Montessori and the Mainstream: A Century of Reform on the Margins.” Teachers College Record 110, no. 12 (2008): 2571–2600. http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentId=14765.

    Note: the authors of the 2008 study happen to live in the Hartford area, in case you wish to discuss their writing with them further for your proposed senior study.

Comments are closed.