Designing a Logic Model to Inform Montessori Research




Montessori education, logic models, logic modeling, Montessori research, Montessori evaluation


Montessori education has a long history, but its recent growth in American public schools has led to increased interest in research efforts, particularly in exploring the potential of the Montessori experience to moderate the effects of poverty and in gathering data to evaluate public investment in Montessori schools. To assist research efforts, this paper introduces a comprehensive visual model, or logic model, that depicts the core components, underlying assumptions, and intended outcomes of the Montessori approach. Logic modeling, which results in a visual representation depicting the connections among a program’s inputs, primary activities, and outcomes, is often used in program planning and research to provide a common framework from which to work. Developed over a 3-year period by a collaborative group of experienced Montessori researchers and practitioners, the Logic Model for Montessori Education presented in this paper is a valuable tool for researchers with the potential to lay a foundation across disciplines for future research that is both rigorous and systematic in its measurement of Montessori processes and outcomes.

Author Biographies

Brooke Taylor Culclasure, PhD, The Riley Institute at Furman University

Brooke Culclasure is the Riley Institute at Furman University’s Research Director. Currently, Dr. Culclasure oversees the Institute’s Program and Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative and serves as the Principal Investigator of studies related to Montessori education, New Tech schools, and project-based learning. She also is a lecturer in the Politics and International Affairs Department at Furman University and is a co-chair of the American Montessori Society’s research committee. She has had recent presentations at the International Montessori Congress, the American Education Research Association’s annual meeting, and the American Montessori Society’s annual meeting. Dr. Culclasure earned master’s degrees from the University of Virginia and the University of South Carolina and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Carolyn J. Daoust, PhD, University of Kansas

Carolyn Daoust, PhD, is a Research Associate at the University of Kansas Center for Montessori Research and an independent researcher and consultant with 35 years of experience in Montessori education. She holds both AMS (3-6) and AMI (6-12) teaching credentials and has been a Montessori classroom teacher, teacher educator, and elementary program coordinator. Her research interests include Montessori implementation and practice, Montessori teacher education, and children’s mathematical thinking. Carolyn is a former American Montessori Society Board Member, and served on their research committee as a member (2007-2013) and as co-chair (2011-2013).

Sally Morris Cote, PhD

Sally Morris Cote is the Riley Institute’s Director of Planning and Evaluation Capacity Building in the Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL). In this role, she oversees the Institute’s work to address the pressing need for nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and other federally and locally funded programs to have access to affordable services designed to help them build their capacity for evaluation. These services include, but are not limited to, the development of comprehensive program logic models and evidence-based theory of change narratives. In addition, Dr. Morris Cote has extensive experience designing and implementing small and large-scale survey research projects, as well as conducting qualitative research, particularly through the use of in-depth interviews and field observations; she draws on this experience to provide survey design and general research support for the Institute’s numerous programs and research studies. Graduating with a B.A. in Sociology from Furman University, Dr. Morris Cote completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also received a M.A. in Sociology and a Certificate in Survey Methodology.

Susan Zoll, PhD, Rhode Island College

Susan Zoll, Ph.D., specializes in early childhood education serving in leadership roles on several U.S. DOE funded early literacy initiatives (ERF 2004, 2006, 2009; ECEPD 2006); Co- Director of Professional Development, R.I.’s Center for Early Learning Professionals (RTTT-ELC 2014); and her current role as Associate Professor in teacher preparation at Rhode Island College.

Dr. Zoll’s work includes several evaluations: a national professional development model for STEM educators focused on Narragansett Bay (RI); an Early Reading First project implemented in Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls early learning programs; as well as, an international needs assessment of non-registered child care programs in townships in East London, South Africa.

Publications include: The Montessori Experiment in Rhode Island (1913-1949): Tracing Theory to Implementation over 25 Years (2017); Towards Social Justice: A Needs Assessment of Early Childhood Development In South Africa (2013); From "at risk" to "at promise": An Evaluation of an Early Reading First Project (2012); and Sustainable Practices in Mentoring: Tools to Support Child Outcomes and a Mentoring Protocol (2011). Her work in the development of an assessment protocol has been recognized by the U.S. DOE’s Doing What Works initiative.




How to Cite

Culclasure, B. T., Daoust, C. J., Cote, S. M., & Zoll, S. (2019). Designing a Logic Model to Inform Montessori Research. Journal of Montessori Research, 5(1).