Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Amanda Perna


Montessori Elementary Education, Elementary Education


It has long been known that teachers have a large influence on students, however, little is known about the effect that teachers may have on students’ ability to develop positive social behaviors. Accordingly, there is a need to collect data regarding the effect that a teacher modeling grace and courtesy may have on how students interact with their peers and teachers. Therefore, the purpose of this action research is to analyze the effects of intentional teacher role modeling of grace and courtesy on children’s social behaviors. A classroom of 24 lower elementary, mixed age children from five to eight years old were observed for six weeks in the mornings of every school day to see if demonstrating and modeling grace and courtesy would affect children’s interactions with peers and teachers. An observation log for frequency-count was used to record negative instances of behaviors related to grace and courtesy. Results indicated a positive relationship between children’s social behaviors and teachers modeling grace and courtesy in the classroom. The two conclusions are that children were not sensitive regarding improvements in their social behaviors, and children can be influenced to exhibit positive social behaviors by teachers. Implications of this action research paper show that for children to learn positive social behaviors, teachers should be patient and consistent when modeling, reinforcing, and encouraging children to behave with grace and courtesy.