Montessori Education and a Neighborhood School

A Case Study of Two Early Childhood Education Classrooms


  • Mary D Burbank University of Utah
  • Melissa M. Goldsmith University of Utah
  • Jennifer Spikner Chicago, IL
  • Koeun Park University of Utah



curriculum, diversity, partnerships, early childhood education


Project SYNC (Systems, Yoked through Nuanced Collaboration) details perspectives of a community of stakeholders committed to the enhancement of early childhood (i.e., prekindergarten through grade 3) education. Although there is a growing number of public-school programs informed by the Montessori philosophy, Montessori educational experiences often take place within affluent communities. SYNC aimed to enhance the prekindergarten through grade 3 educational experiences for traditionally underserved students by transforming two traditional early childhood classrooms to Montessori settings within a diverse, Title I school. Montessori pedagogy, curricula, and materials aligned with the school’s dedicated commitment to social justice. The study, one in a series, explored the impact of Montessori education on a neighborhood school community as evidenced through stakeholder opinions, project implementation, and teacher attitudes. Project data illustrate that a Montessori educational experience created learning opportunities that supported children from culturally and ethnically diverse communities in a traditional, Title I elementary school.

Author Biographies

Melissa M. Goldsmith, University of Utah

Melissa M. Goldsmith is a research associate in the Urban Institute for Teacher Education at the University of Utah.

Jennifer Spikner , Chicago, IL

Jennifer Spikner is involved in Montessori education and resides in Chicago, IL.

Koeun Park , University of Utah

Koeun Park is a graduate teaching assistant in the Urban Institute for Teacher Education at the University of Utah.


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How to Cite

Burbank, M. D., Goldsmith, M. M. ., Spikner , J. ., & Park , K. . (2020). Montessori Education and a Neighborhood School: A Case Study of Two Early Childhood Education Classrooms. Journal of Montessori Research, 6(1), 1–18.