Montessori education & civic engagement
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Montessori education & civic engagement
Sara Chopp MPS 593 Winter 2014Montessori education & civic engagementThe level of association between Montessori education and civic engagement must be explored in order to determine if significant differences exist between Montessori education and traditional education in terms of civic outcomes.
The premise is that individuals who receive a Montessori education demonstrate higher levels of civic engagement.
This is important because the findings may reveal feasible options for education reform and the development of civil society.
IntroductionThis is a case study on the Milwaukee Public School District, which provides students the opportunity to receive a Montessori education within the public education system based on a random lottery. The outcomes of this research could assist decision makers in fully implementing Montessori methods in the public education system. The assumption is that this method would be most effective in fostering civic engagement and improving academic achievement by closing academic and civic engagement gaps. The results could have positive outcomes on individual student lives, as well as on the surrounding community by empowering and mobilizing individuals and groups. This would improve the well-being of the Milwaukee population by working towards social justice in terms of quality educational opportunities, fair representation and equity. If feasible, this could be applied to school districts across the state of Wisconsin, as well as across the nation.
case overviewLiterature Review: Three Voices of Civic Engagement: Civic, Electoral & Political (Andolina et al., 2002)Three Pathways to Civic Engagement: Education, Parental Engagement & Organizational Involvement (Andolina et al., 2003)Civic Education: Frieres (2006) liberation pedagogy, Deweys (2004) view of school as a community & Cosmopolitanism (Hansen, 2010)Civic Engagement Predictors: Civil Activity, Political Activity, Nonsport Extracurricular Activity, Conflict Resolution, Positive Character, Problem Solving & Civic Development (McIntosh, 2009)
Literature reviewIs there a positive correlation between Montessori education and civic engagement?
Research QuestionTheoretically, education and civic engagement have a strong, positive correlation.
As outlined in the literature review, open discussion and participation, service-learning opportunities, organizational involvement and parental engagement are predictors of civic engagement and serve as the dependent variables for this study.
It is my theory that the Montessori method, which serves as the independent variable, has a strong, positive relationship with all of the predictors and measures of civic engagement.
Relevant theoryMy hypotheses for these theories that will be tested using quantitative analyses are as follows:Hypothesis I. Students who receive a Montessori education demonstrate greater levels of civic engagement. Hypothesis II. Students who receive a Montessori education demonstrate greater organizational involvement.
My hypotheses based on the exploratory research conducted during the literature review that will be tested using qualitative analyses are as follows:Hypothesis III. Montessori teachers are more likely to encourage participation. Hypothesis IV. Montessori teachers provide greater service-learning opportunities. Hypothesis V. Montessori teachers foster greater parental engagement. Hypothesis VI. Montessori teachers are more likely to encourage open discussion.Hypothesis VII. Montessori teachers are more likely to encourage organizational involvement.Future studies on this theory should explore the following hypotheses:Hypothesis VII. Students who receive a Montessori education demonstrate greater academic achievement. Hypothesis VIII. Students who receive a Montessori education demonstrate greater mobilization.
HypothesesI used a purposive, availability sample to contact and survey MPS alumni who participated in a public Montessori program. I located individuals associated with MacDowell Montessori School via Facebook.
Causal diagram: Montessori education + civic engagementRegression equation: Y (civic engagement) = b1(Montessori education in terms of years) + b2(Open discussion opportunities) + b3(level at which participation is encouraged) + b4(Service learning opportunities) + b5(Organizational involvement opportunities) + b6(Parental engagement opportunities)
Quantitative Analysis Bivariate Analyses: Spearmans rho correlation & Chi-Square Cross-TabulationMultivariate Analyses: MANOVA & ANOVA
Qualitative Analysis Document Analysis: MacDowell Montessori School Program Information, News Letters & Calendars
Independent VariablesQuantitative: Years of Montessori Education Received (MontYrs), Montessori Education (Montessori) & Traditional Education (Traditional)Qualitative: Open discussion opportunities, level at which participation is encouraged, service-learning opportunities, organizational involvement opportunities and parental engagement opportunitiesResearch data and methodsDependent Variables Organizational Involvement: religious (Religious), educational (Educational), social (Social), political (Political), government (Govern), militant (Militant) and charitable (Charity) organization membershipPerceptions of civic self: civically spirited (Spirited), literate (Literate), inquisitive (Inquisitive) and active (Active). Time allocation: gathering information (InfoGath), knowledge sharing (KnoShare), furthering their education (Education), self improvement (SelfImprov), relationship building (Relbuild), networking, entertainment (Entertain), shopping, paying bills (PayBills), professional development (ProfDev) and civic engagement (CivicEng).Civic voice (frequency): community problem solving (CommProb), volunteers for non-electoral organizations (VolNonElec), member to a group or association (MemGrAss), participates in run/walk/ride fundraisers (Runwalkride), and participates in other fundraisers for charity (Fundraising)Electoral voice (frequency): decides for whom to vote (VoteDec), persuades others to vote (VotePer), displays buttons, signs, or stickers (Display), makes campaign contributions (ContCamp), and volunteers for candidates or political organizations (VolPolOrg) Political voice (frequency): contacts officials (ContactOff), print media (ContactPrint), and broadcast media (ContactBC), protests (Protesting), petitions, boycotts (Boycott), buycotts (Buycott), and canvasses (Canvassing). The respondents are also asked the same questions regarding their parents (indicated by PAR) in order to measure the strength of their parents civic, electoral and political voices.Survey for Montessori alumni: What is the purpose of this study?What type of education did you receive?How many years of Montessori education did you receive? In which type of organizations are you involved?What is your level of agreement to if you perceive yourself to be civically spirited, civically literate, civically inquisitive, and civically active?What is the frequency at which you participate in community problem solving, volunteering for a non-electoral organization, membership to a group or association, participate in fund-raising (run/walk/ride), other fundraising for charity?How often do you participate in deciding for whom to vote, persuading others to vote, displaying buttons, signs, stickers, campaign contributions, and volunteering for candidates or political organizations?How often do you contact officials, the print media, and the broadcast media, protest, petition, boycott, buycott, and canvassing?What percentage of your time do you spend on information gathering, knowledge sharing, education, self-improvement, relationship building, networking, entertainment, shopping, paying bills, professional development and civic engagement?What is the frequency at which your parents participate in community problem solving, volunteering for a non-electoral organization, membership to a group or association, participate in fund-raising (run/walk/ride), other fundraising for charity?How often do your parents participate in deciding for whom to vote, persuading others to vote, displaying buttons, signs, stickers, campaign contributions, and volunteering for candidates or political organizations?How often do your parents contact officials, the print media, and the broadcast media, protest, petition, boycott, buycott, and canvassing?
Documents for analysis:Program information for MacDowell Montessori Schools Childrens House (K3-K5), lower elementary (1-3), upper elementary (4-6), adolescent community (7-8) and high school (9-12)MacDowell Montessori Schools newslettersMacDowell Montessori Schools academic calendars
Research instrumentsAcademic gaps: Achievement disparities that exist between different socioeconomic groupsCivic Development: Instruction in law, history and democracy, in addition to offering active learning opportunities like student government and mock electionsCivic education: Education method that fosters communal and societal responsibility through the development of communal and societal roles.Civic engagement: The level at which individuals participate in and are informed about communal, electoral and political processesCivic engagement gaps: Civic participation and knowledge disparities that exist between different socioeconomic groupsCivic voice: Community problem solving, regular volunteering for a non-electoral organization, active membership in a group or association, participation in fund-raising run/walk ride, other fund-raising for charity, and running for political office.Civil activity: Participating in community service and environmental conservationCivil society: Nongovernment, public organizationsConflict Resolutio