Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
College of Education, Doctoral Program
This qualitative case study explores how Montessori educators in a public charter Montessori school experience Montessori education for low-income Black children. Using the methodology of a qualitative intrinsic case study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight educators (six teachers and two administrators). The participants are diverse in terms of age (26 to 54), race (three white, six African American), gender (two male and six female) and educational experience (2–25 years teaching). Education for Black children in the United States recounts histories of exclusion and segregation. Montessori education for children in the U.S. over the past 100 years shows a progression from exclusivity to inclusivity with the modern push for Montessori in the public sector. Neoliberal education reform is an important context to consider in the reproduction of injustice in American schools. This study’s findings show that participants are responding to this injustice. Negotiating tension, these educators draw on Montessori philosophy, culturally responsive teaching practices, and the tenets of an education for social justice to meet the unique needs of students who are impacted by trauma, inequity, and structural racism. Blending educational traditions to become more responsive to the conditions created by oppressive constructs has created a path through the tension. Prospect Montessori educators enact a hybrid Montessori program that focuses on relationships, communication, and social/emotional learning. This study’s educational implications stem from a call for Montessori education to examine its relevancy for under-served Black students.
Summers, Heather E., "Hybrid Montessori Education: Teacher Reflections on the Care and Education of Under-served Black Children" (2022). College of Education Theses and Dissertations. 228.