Using the Cosmic Curriculum of Dr. Montessori Toward the Development of a Place-Based Indigenous Science Program

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17161/jomr.v7i2.15763

Keywords:

Montessori, Cosmic Curriculum, Hawaiian Language Immersion, Indigenous epistemology, culture-based science curricula, Anschauung educators

Abstract

Indigenous educators desire to use culturally restorative and decolonized pedagogies reflective of their own cultural values and beliefs in their science programs but have lacked models for how to start. They also often lack confidence in their ability to teach the sciences. This three-year qualitative case study used grounded theory methodology to discover (a) how Hawaiian language immersion (HLC) K–6 educators used Maria Montessori’s Cosmic Curriculum for the creation of a science program based on Hawaiian epistemology and cultural values and (b) why the Cosmic Curriculum appealed to the HLC educators. Five key themes emerged: (a) the notion of creation as interconnected and relational, (b) an epistemological similarity regarding how people learn, (c) using timelines as organizing cognitive structures, (d) a focus on the natural sciences, and (e) the use of storytelling and key lessons to engage students. Participants stated that they felt successful in creating science curriculum and teaching the sciences as they adapted the above aspects of Dr. Montessori’s Cosmic Curriculum. Future research should be conducted to discover if her Cosmic Curriculum can be adapted for use in other types of non-Montessori program and whether this kind of science program could encourage students to choose the sciences as a career choice.

References

Aikenhead, G. (2001, September). Integrating Western and Aboriginal science: Cross-cultural science teaching. Research in Science Education, 31, 337–355. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1013151709605

Aslan, D., Tąs, I., & Oğul, I. G. (2016). Pre- and in-service preschool teachers’ science teaching efficacy beliefs. Educational Research and Reviews, 11(14). https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1108207.pdf

Baker, I. (2011). The long black strip: A lesson in humility. Montessori Services. https://www.montessoriservi-ces.com/ideas-insights/the-long-black-strip

Bang, M., Marin, A., & Medin, D. (2018, Spring). If indigenous peoples stand with the sciences, will scientists stand with us? Daedalus, 147(2), 148–159. http://doi.org/10.1162/DAED_a_00498

Beckwith, M. W. (1951). The Kumulipo: A Hawaiian creation chant. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/ku/

Bernard, R. E., & Cooperdock, E. H. G. (2018, April 30). No progress on diversity in 40 years. Nature Geoscience, 11, 292–295. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0116-6

Blank, R. K. (2013). Science instructional time is declining in elementary schools: What are the implications for student achievement and closing the gap? Science Education, 97(6), 830–847. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.21078

Boris, V. (2017, December 20). What makes storytelling so effective for learning? Harvard Business Publishing. https://www.harvardbusiness.org/what-makes-storytelling-so-effective-for-learning/

Cajete, G. A. (2000). Native science: Natural laws of interdependence. Clearlight Publishers.

Cartier, K. M. S. (2019, December). Keeping Indigenous science knowledge out of a colonial mold. Eos, 100. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019EO137505.

Center for Montessori in the Public Sector. (2019). Montessori schools around the world. https://www.public-montessori.org/montessori/

Chattin-McNichols, J. (1991). The Montessori controversy. Delmar.

Chun, M. N. (2006). A`o: Educational traditions. University of Hawai`i Curriculum Research & Development Group.

Cossentino, J. (2005, February). Ritualizing experience: A non-Montessorian view of the Montessori Method. American Journal of Education, 111(2), 211–244. http://doi.org/10.1086/426838

Datta, R. (2017). Traditional storytelling: An effective Indigenous research methodology and its implications for environmental research. AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples, 14(1), 35–44. http://doi.org/10.1177/1177180117741351

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.). (2011). Handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). Sage.

Downs, R. B. (1975). Heinrich Pestalozzi, father of modern pedagogy. Twayne Publishers.

Duffy, M., & Duffy, D. (2002). Children of the universe: Cosmic education in the Montessori elementary class-room. Parent Child Press.

Elers, S. (2016, June). Refuting Denzin’s claims: grounded theory and indigenous research. Grounded Theory Review, 2(16). http://groundedtheoryreview.com/2016/12/19/refuting-denzins-claims-grounded-theory-and-indigenous-research/

Esteban-Guitart, M., & Moll, L. C. (2014). Funds of identity: A new concept based on the Funds of Knowledge approach. Culture and Psychology, 20(1), 31–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354067X13515934

Ezzy, D. (2002). Qualitative analysis: Practice and innovation. Routledge.

Frierson, P. R. (2014). Maria Montessori’s epistemology. British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 22(4), 767–791. http://doi.org/10.1080/09608788.2014.960794

Green, V. (2021). How to include Indigenous researchers and their knowledge. Nature, 589, 315–317. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00022-1

Greenburg, A. (2020, September 11). An indigenous bioethicist on CRISPR and decolonizing DNA. PBS Online. NOVA Newsletter. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/bioethics-crispr-indigenous-genome/

Gulino, P., & Shears, C. (2018). The science of screenwriting: The neuroscience behind storytelling strategies. Bloomsbury Academic.

Hawai`i State Department of Education. (2021). Hawaiian language immersion program. https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/StudentLearning/HawaiianEducation/Pages/trans-lation.aspx

Holmes, C. C. (2018). Introduction of Montessori education to a remote Indigenous early childhood program: A study of the ways in which Aboriginal students respond. Journal of Montessori Research, 4(2), 33–60. https://doi.org/10.17161/jomr.v4i2.6715

James, K. (2001). Fires need fuel: Merging science education with American Indian needs. In K. James (Ed.), Science and Native American communities: Legacies of pain, visions of promise (pp. 1–8). University of Nebraska Press.

John-Steiner, V., & Mahn, H. (1996). Sociocultural approaches to learning and development: A Vygotskian framework. Educational Psychologist, 31(3/4), 191–206. https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.1996.9653266

Kahn, B., Robbins, C., & Okrent, A. (2020). Science and engineering indicators 2020: The state of U.S. science and engineering (NSB-2020-1). National Science Foundation. https://ncses.nsf.gov/pubs/nsb20201/

Kahn, D. (1998). The Kodaikanal experience: Kahn– Montessori interview. The NAMTA Journal, 23(2), 34–42.

Kelling, I. K., & Schonleber, N. S. (2011). He `ike pāpālua o ke ao me ka pō: Teaching science in a Hawaiian cultural context. Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being, 7, 223–258.

Kramer, R. (1988). Maria Montessori: A biography. Perseus Books.

Lee, S. F. (2020). Maria Montessori: A complex and multifaceted historiographical subject. American Psycho-logical Association, 20(2), 201–209. https://doi.org/10.1037/hop0000150

Lewis-Beck, M. S., Bryman, A., & Futing Liao, T. (2004). Constant comparison. The SAGE encyclopedia of social science research methods (Vols. 1-0). Sage.

Lipka, J., & Ilutsik, E. (1995). Negotiated change: Yup’ik perspectives on indigenous schooling. The Bilingual Research Journal, 19(1), 195–207. https://doi.org/10.1080/15235882.1995.10668600

Meyer, M. A. (2001). Our own liberation: Reflections on Hawaiian epistemology. The Contemporary Pacific, 13(1), 124–148. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23718511

Meyer, M. A. (2003). Ho`oulu: Our time of beginning. `Ai Pōhaku Press.

Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychological Review, 101(2), 343–352.

Montessori, M. (1964). The Montessori Method. Schocken Books. (Original work published 1912)

Montessori, M. (1965). Dr. Montessori’s own handbook: A short guide to her ideas and materials. Schocken Books. (Original work published 1914)

Montessori, M. (1967). The discovery of the child. Clio Press. (Original work published 1948)

Montessori, M. (1991). To educate the human potential. Kalakshetra Press. (Original work published 1948)

Montessori, M. (1994). From childhood to adolescence. Clio Press. (Original work published 1948)

Montessori, M. (1992). Peace and education. Clio Press. (Original work published 1949)

Montessori, M. (1994). The absorbent mind. Henry Holt and Company. (Original work published 1949)

Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., & Maczuga, S. (2016). Science achievement gaps begin very early, persist, and are largely explained by modifiable factors. Educational Researcher, 45(1), 18–35. https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X16633182

Morris, A. (2020, November 24). “Lifting up native science.” Northwestern University McCormick School of Engineering. Engineering News. https://www.mccormick.northwestern.edu/news/articles/2020/11/lifting-up-native-science-josiah-hester.html

Mullis, I. V. S., Martin, M. O., Foy, P., Kelly, D. L., & Fishbein, B. (2020). TIMSS 2019 international results in mathematics and science. TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center. https://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2019/international-results/

National Research Council. (2014). Furthering America’s research enterprise. The National Academies Press.

Nelson, D. J., & Madesen, L. D. (2018). Diversity in materials science and engineering: Representation of Native Americans in US science and engineering. MRS Bulletin, 43(5), 379–383. https://doi.org/10.1557/mrs.2018.108

Osorio, J. K. (2002). Dismembering Lāhui: A history of the Hawaiian nation to 1887. University of Hawai`i Press.

Pukui, M. K., & Elbert, S. H. (1986). Hawaiian dictionary: Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian, revised and enlarged edition. University of Hawai`i Press.

Reyhner, J. (2017). Affirming identity: The role of language and culture in American Indian education. Cogent Education, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2017.1340081

Rice, M. (2020). Honoring indigenous children’s ways of knowing. In J. Reyhner, J. Martin, L. Lockard, & W. S. Gilbert. (Eds.). Honoring our students (pp. 1–23). Northern Arizona University.

Romero-Little, M. E. (2010). How should young Indigenous children be prepared for learning? A vision of early childhood education for Indigenous children. Journal of American Indian Education, 49(1/2), 7–27. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43608587

Rosenthal, G. (2003). The healing effects of storytelling: On the conditions of curative storytelling in the context of research and counseling. Qualitative Inquiry, 9(6), 915–930. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800403254888

Schonleber, N. S. (2011). Hawaiian culture-based education and the Montessori approach: Overlapping teaching practices, values, and worldview. Journal of American Indian Education, 50(3), 5–25. https://www.jstor.org/stable/43608610

Schonleber, N. S., & Kelling, I. K. (2018). Creating a culturally responsive K-3 science curriculum: Teachers as cultural brokers. International Journal of Early Childhood Education, 24(1), 67–92. https://www.kci.go.kr/kciportal/landing/article.kci?arti_id=ART002368412

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1994). Grounded theory methodology: An overview. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (pp. 1–18). Sage.Takaya, K. (2003). The method of Anschauung: From Johann H. Pestalozzi to Herbert Spencer. The Journal of Educational Thought (JET)/ Revue De La Pensée Éducative, 37(1), 77–99. https://www.jstor.org/stable/23767177

Trudeau, C. M. (1984). Montessori’s years in India. Hawai`i Printing.

Varghese, J., & Crawford, S. S. (2021). A cultural framework for Indigenous, local, and science knowledge systems in ecology and natural resource management. Ecological Monographs, 91(1). Article e01431. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/ecm.1431

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Harvard University Press.

Weaver, M. C. (Ed.). (1994). Tales as tools: The power of story in the classroom. The National Storytelling Press.

Wilson, D., & Baker, M. (2012). Bridging two worlds: Maori mental health nursing. Qualitative Health Research, 22(8), 1073–1082. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732312450213

Wilson, W. H., & Kamanā, K. (2001). Mai Loko Mai O Ka`I`ini: Proceeding from a dream: The `Aha Pūnana Leo connection in Hawaiian language revitalization. In L. Hinton & K. Hale (Eds.), The green book of language revitalization in practice (pp. 147–176). Academic Press.

Wilson, W. H., & Kamanā, K. (2006). “For the interest of the Hawaiians themselves”: Reclaiming the benefits of Hawaiian-medium education. Hūlili: Multidisciplinary Research on Hawaiian Well-Being, 3(1), 153–181. http://www.ulukau.org/elib/collect/hulili06/index/assoc/D0.dir/doc152.pdf

Yamauchi, L. A. (2003). Making school relevant for at-risk students: The Wai`anae High School Hawaiian Studies Program. Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk, 8(4), 379–390. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327671ESPR0804_1

Downloads

Published

2021-11-15

How to Cite

Schonleber, N. (2021). Using the Cosmic Curriculum of Dr. Montessori Toward the Development of a Place-Based Indigenous Science Program. ournal of ontessori esearch, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.17161/jomr.v7i2.15763