Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Sandra Wyner Andrew


Montessori Elementary Education, Elementary Education


WORK CONFERENCES AND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT 2 Abstract The purpose of this research was to determine the impact of individual, weekly work conferences on students' levels of intrinsic motivation, work engagement, and enthusiasm for learning. The study was conducted with 28 fourth through sixth graders in a mixedage, public Montessori classroom. Data was collected as notes during teacher observations, conversations with students, and during the work conferences themselves. Accountability and relational support increased through student-teacher dialogue about work. These two factors improved the overall student productivity, enthusiasm, and organization, as well as the work culture of the classroom. The conferences helped the students become more conscious of the nature of their learning, and they helped the teacher obtain a deeper understanding of students. This benefitted lesson planning and teacher engagement in classroom processes. Further research could be conducted to investigate, with more depth, the impact of work conferences on student self-efficacy beliefs, the use of written self-evaluation tools, and the use of portfolios to catalogue and present work.