Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Nicole Wilcox


Montessori Elementary Education, Montessori Early Childhood


Abstract This study was initiated to determine the effects of relationship-driven classroom management on positive behaviors in the lower elementary classroom. The research was conducted in a rural public Montessori school. Students were carefully observed to determine behavioral norms. Next, they were invited to participate in a survey to establish their current perception of positive relationships within their school and particularly with myself as a guide. Subsequently, I conducted a family survey, recorded daily observation of positive behaviors, and collected samples of student work during the research period. Finally, I re-administered the students survey to determine if they believed their relationships had improved. Although the test period was short, there was a noticeable improvement in positive behavior in the classroom. I observed a reduction in off task behaviors, an increase in independent work, and an improvement in both the quantity and quality of follow-up work students produced. I anticipate the ongoing practice of relationship-driven classroom management strategies will continue to reduce misbehavior and create a more peaceful classroom. In the future, I will focus on preventative rather that reactive management. I will also be conscious to notice the positive. It is clear that a peaceful and positive environment increases productivity, learning, and feelings of success. This research empowered me to always look more deeply for the why behind the what.