Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Irene Bornhorst


Montessori Early Childhood


This action research explores conflicts among preschoolers and strategies for teachers to develop children’s social problem-solving abilities, such as teaching the steps of conflict resolution. Research was conducted in a Montessori preschool setting with children ages 2.5 to 5 years of age. Data was collected on the number of conflicts, types of conflicts, how conflicts were resolved (independently or with teacher assistance), and types of solutions implemented by students. Methods used to collect data included observation, group discussions, and student journals. Results indicated when the steps of conflict resolution were taught to preschool children, the number of conflicts resolved without teacher intervention increased, the frequency students sought teacher guidance to solve conflicts decreased, and the number of journal responses that included positive independent solutions to problems increased. Findings reveal that conflict resolution skills can be successfully taught in preschool settings. Further research is needed to determine additional strategies to strengthen children’s problem solving abilities with certain prevalent conflicts, such as sharing materials, and the effects of environment factors on conflicts, such as class size.