Thesis Title

A Comparison of the Effects of Traditional and Montessori School Environments on Student Motivation

Graduation Date

Spring 2007

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD

Abstract

Investigating the differences in student motivation between traditional and Montessori schools reveals many interesting findings. Quite noticeable, it is the difference in classroom environments and the ways in which the classrooms are structured that are mentioned to be a factor in influencing intrinsic motivation across grade levels, k-8. The difficulty in many schools is the lack of motivation students have within the classroom. With limited motivations, academic achievement suffers.

The purpose of the study is to find out how the classroom environment and structure may influence the motivation of students in the k-8 grade levels. By learning more about classroom environments and the ways in which they are structured may reveal ways in which we can help to increase motivation through the manipulation and change of environments.

The study includes continuing literature research on classroom environments/structures and its effects on student motivation. In addition to the literature review, interviews were conducted based upon questions asked of teachers, directors, and principals concerning classroom environments and structures, and their personal beliefs on how these criteria affect student motivation.

In conclusion, the structure of a classroom and its environment is the first thing that a student experiences everyday, from the moment they step through the doorway. The influence of the environment upon students should be researched and looked into for the reason of it having such influence over a student in direct and indirect ways.

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