Proving Montessori: Identity and Dilemmas in a Montessori Teacher’s Lived Experience
Keywords:Montessori, Early Childhood Education, Teacher Training, Critical Discourse Analysis, Phenomenology
This phenomenological case study was conducted to better understand the experience of a Montessori teacher in a leadership role. A veteran Montessori teacher, newly hired by an established Montessori preschool, was interviewed over the course of her first year in the position. A critical discourse analysis revealed multiple social identities that contributed to her desire, and ability, to be what she felt was an authentic Montessori educator. While some of these discourses and social identities aligned, some did not, creating ideational dilemmas that affected her work, relationships, and personal identity. The findings suggest that current Montessori discourse excludes important characteristics of the teacher-lived experience. Acknowledging and discussing the social challenges Montessori teachers face is a necessary addition to teacher preparation, teacher support systems, and Montessori leadership decisions.
American Montessori Society. (n.d.). Montessori teachers. Retrieved from http://amshq.org/Montessori-Education/Introduction-to-Montessori/Montessori-Teachers
Association Montessori Internationale/USA. (n.d.). The Montessori teacher. Retrieved from http://amiusa.org/the-montessori-teacher/
Barker, C. (2012). Cultural Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Bartik, T. J. (2014). From preschool to prosperity: The economic payoff to early childhood education. MI: W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. doi: 10.17848/pol2015-017
Copple, C., & Bredekamp, S. (Eds.). (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Cossentino, J. (2009). Culture, craft & coherence: The unexpected vitality of Montessori teacher training. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(5), 520–527. doi: 10.1177/0022487109344593
Cuban, L. (1992). Managing dilemmas with building professional communities. Educational Researcher, 21(1), 4–11.
Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H., & Nyström, M. (2008). Reflective lifeworld research. Lund, Sweden: Studentlitteratur AB.
Fairclough, N. (1992). Discourse and social change. Cambridge, England: Polity Press.
Floden, R., & Buchmann, M. (1993). Between routines and anarchy: Preparing teacher for uncertainty. Oxford Review of Education, 19(3), 373–382. doi: 10.1080/0305498930190308
Gee, J. P. (2014). An introduction to discourse analysis: Theory and method. New York, NY: Routledge.
Graue, E., Kroeger, J., & Prager, D. (2001). A Bakhtinian analysis of particular home-school relations. American Educational Research Journal, 38(3), 467–498. doi: 10.3102/00028312038003467
Hall-Kenyon, K. M., Bullough, R. V., MacKay, K. L., & Marshall, E. E. (2014). Preschool teacher well-being: A review of the literature. Early Childhood Education, 42(3), 153–162.
Helsing, D. (2007). Regarding uncertainty in teachers and teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23(8), 1317–1333. doi:10.1016/j.tate.2006.06.007
Kilgallon, P., Maloney, C., & Lock, G. (2008). Early childhood teachers coping with educational change. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 33(1), 23–29.
Lampert, M. (1985). How do teachers manage to teach? Perspectives on problems in practice. Harvard Educational Review, 55(2), 178–194.
Lillard, A. (2005). Montessori: The science behind the genius. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Malm, B. (2004). Constructing professional identities: Montessori teachers’ voices and visions. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 48(4), 397–412.
Montessori, M. (1967a). The absorbent mind. New York, NY: Dell Publishing Co.
Montessori, M. (1967b). The discovery of the child. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.
Montessori, M. (1991). The child in the family. Madras, India: Kalakshetra Publications.
Ngo, B. (2012). Constructing immigrant adolescent identities: Exploring the “magical Property” of discourses. In M. Vagle (Ed.), Not a stage! A critical re-conception of young adolescent education (pp. 45–55). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing.
North American Montessori Teachers’ Association. (n.d.). A career in Montessori education. Retrieved from http://www.montessori-namta.org/Careers
Sumsion, J. (2002). Becoming, being and unbecoming an early childhood educator: A phenomenological case study of teacher attrition. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18(7), 869–885. doi: 10.1016/S0742-051X(02)00048-3
Swartz, D. (1997). Culture and power, the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Vagle, M. D. (2014). Crafting phenomenological research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Left Coast Press.
van Leeuwen, T. (2007). Legitimation in discourse and communication. Discourse & Communication, 1(1), 91–112. doi: 10.1177/1750481307071986
van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology of practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Left Coast Press.
How to Cite
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. Authors can view article download statistics for published articles within their accounts.
Journal of Montessori Research
The following is an agreement between the Author (the “Corresponding Author”) acting on behalf of all authors of the work (“Authors”) and the Journal of Montessori Research (the “Journal”) regarding your article (the “Work”) that is being submitted for consideration.
Whereas the parties desire to promote effective scholarly communication that promotes local control of intellectual assets, the parties for valuable consideration agree as follows.
A. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S GRANT OF RIGHTS
After being accepted for publication, the Corresponding Author grants to the Journal, during the full term of copyright and any extensions or renewals of that term, the following:
1. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to reproduce, republish, transmit, sell, distribute, and otherwise use the Work in electronic and print editions of the Journal and in derivative works throughout the world, in all languages, and in all media now known or later developed.
2. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to create and store electronic archival copies of theWork, including the right to deposit the Work in open access digital repositories.
3. An irrevocable non-exclusive right to license others to reproduce, republish, transmit,and distribute the Work under the condition that the Authors are attributed. (Currently this is carried out by publishing the content under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 license (CC BY-NC.)
4. Copyright in the Work remains with the Authors.
B. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S DUTIES
1. When distributing or re-publishing the Work, the Corresponding Author agrees to credit the Journal as the place of first publication.
2. The Corresponding Author agrees to inform the Journal of any changes in contact information.
C. CORRESPONDING AUTHOR’S WARRANTY
The Corresponding Author represents and warrants that the Work is the Authors’ original work and that it does not violate or infringe the law or the rights of any third party and, specifically, that the Work contains no matter that is defamatory or that infringes literary or proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, or any rights of privacy. The Corresponding Author also warrants that he or she has the full power to make this agreement, and if the Work was prepared jointly, the Corresponding Author agrees to inform the Authors of the terms of this Agreement and to obtain their written permission to sign on their behalf. The Corresponding Author agrees to hold the Journal harmless from any breach of the aforestated representations.
D. JOURNAL’S DUTIES
In consideration of the Author’s grant of rights, the Journal agrees to publish the Work, attributing the Work to the Authors.
E. ENTIRE AGREEMENT
This agreement reflects the entire understanding of the parties. This agreement may be amended only in writing by an addendum signed by the parties. Amendments are incorporated by reference to this agreement.
ACCEPTED AND AGREED BY THE CORRESPONDING AUTHOR ON BEHALF OF ALL AUTHORS CONTRIBUTING TO THIS WORK