Date of Award
Action Research Project
Master of Arts in Education
Montessori Early Childhood, Montessori Elementary Education
This six-week qualitative action research self-study investigated how critically reflecting upon personal heritage while engaging with decolonial, antiracist perspectives would affect perception and attitudes towards Montessori materials, pedagogical philosophy and methodology. With critical pedagogy as a theoretical framework, the researcher surveyed decolonial scholarship for recommendations. She followed a program revealed by the literature. She took two tests at the beginning and end of the study to establish a baseline of bias. For the first two weeks of the study, she engaged with Indigenous peoples' cultural production. She studied ancestral trauma for the following two weeks. To provoke equal understanding and connectedness to her own ancestry, she also engaged with media concerning her own lineage for two weeks. In accordance with critical pedagogy, these engagements were followed by critical reflections, leading to a more aware state that actively resists colonial (and other) oppressions. During the last two weeks of the study she also read about the struggles of and connected with people in the Palestinian territories towards an engaged praxis of solidarity. While the metrics of spiritual preparedness and critical consciousness remained evasive, the researcher observed deepening understanding throughout the study coding and analyzing journal reflections for themes. Recommendations following the study include: a dialogue-centered approach to Montessori teacher trainings, supplementation that includes decolonial knowledges, critical pedagogy, anti-racism, and trauma informed care. Research is needed to ascertain the effects of decolonial preparation upon guides and environments towards critical consciousness development in Montessori children. Indigenous erasure in classic Montessori materials need be addressed.
Schweitzer, Lily. (2019). Authentic Montessori (in a De/colonializing World). Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/maed/343