ResearchPaperAngela - Running head MONTESSORI PAPER 1 Motivation in the Montessori Classroom San Jose State University Running head MONTESSORI

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Running head: MONTESSORI PAPER Motivation in the Montessori Classroom San Jose State University 1
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Running head: MONTESSORI PAPER Motivation in the Montessori Classroom Introduction The traditional Montessori philosophy of education takes a holistic approach to children’s development. Rather than viewing development in a piece-meal fashion, Montessori classrooms aim to promote the healthy development of a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. This curriculum was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori in the early 1900’s. Dr. Montessori’s early literature and work integrated principles of psychology and anthropology, and was considered both liberal and progressive at the time it was proposed (Foschi, 2008). Dr. Montessori was among the first researchers to suggest that academic performance and perceived intelligence was related to social class, rather than family genealogy. Dr. Montessori’s beliefs about progressive education were implemented in the first Children’s Houses , or primary schools in Rome, Italy. It was in these houses that the Montessori methods and pedagogical practices were first developed. In Montessori curriculum, all subject areas overlap and affect one another. Classrooms are child-centered, allowing children to discover, learn, and master concepts at their own pace, in their own ways (M. McDonald, personal communication, November 20, 2009). Children are provided a variety of developmentally appropriate materials, and learn by seeing, touching, manipulating, classifying, and observing. This curriculum allows children to refine their abilities at an individual pace, and to make connections between action and consequence (Cossentino, 2006). The Montessori teacher acts as a facilitator or guide, helping to support and foster the child’s natural curiosity and interests. Teachers are trained in Montessori methods, and are knowledgeable about creating environments developmentally appropriate and stimulating for the children in their classrooms. 2
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Running head: MONTESSORI PAPER Since the Montessori philosophy of education is largely master-oriented rather than performance based, its practices foster intrinsic motivation. Since the teacher does not hold a dominant role in the classroom, and students are able to mature and build new skills on their own, motivational theories such as self-determination, particularly self-efficacy, relate to the Montessori method. Furthermore, because Montessori views and supports healthy social and emotional growth through the relationships with teachers and other students, the role of emotions and affect in motivation is also a related motivational theory. Lastly, the motivational role of student’s causal attributions regarding performance is employed in Montessori classrooms, as children learn that effort and persistence precedes mastery. It is important for both parents and educators to be knowledgeable about various forms of
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This note was uploaded on 09/08/2010 for the course CHAD 169 at San Jose State University .

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ResearchPaperAngela - Running head MONTESSORI PAPER 1 Motivation in the Montessori Classroom San Jose State University Running head MONTESSORI

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