Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Jana Morgan Herman


Montessori Elementary Education, Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this research was to explore the effects of work journals, portfolios, and cosmic education on intrinsic motivation. The study was performed at a Montessori school in Indiana that serves children from birth through high school graduation. Thirtyfour learners in an upper elementary classroom participated in the study over the course of eight weeks. Data collection included two pre- and post-assessments, daily observations, and interviews with participants. Results of the pre- and post-assessments showed an overall decrease in both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, although learners perceived their work as having greater value and importance. Observation data revealed an increase in desirable behaviors over the course of the study. Interviews indicated that learners enjoyed the interventions and felt they were helpful. The results of this action research suggest that the use of work journals, portfolios, and cosmic education increase engagement and flow in the learning environment. Keywords: intrinsic motivation, flow, work journals, portfolios, cosmic education