From boutique to big box: a case study concerning teacher change transitioning to a public Montessori elementary school

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Teresa A. Van Acker (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: 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.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Change, Curriculum, Montessori, Practice, Support, Teacher
Montessori method of education $z United States
Public schools $z United States
Teachers $z United States $v Case studies

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