Montessori Early Childhood Teachers’ Preparedness to Teach Mathematics
Crneckiy, Anne E.
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The purpose of this action research project was to learn about early childhood Montessori teachers’ feelings and beliefs about mathematics and teaching math, and their awareness of current research regarding the importance of mathematics. Early childhood Montessori teachers were surveyed with questions and opportunities to comment. Instructors who teach Montessori mathematics to future teachers were interviewed, including questions about attitudes towards math they have seen in their adult students and opinions about the need for professional development in math. Adult students enrolled in a Montessori early childhood mathematics class were surveyed at the beginning of the course and again at the end of the course. The results showed that survey participants had both positive and negative experiences in mathematics in their own K-12/college education, with teachers/school as the greatest influencers. Many survey participants indicated that these experiences had long-term effects on their feelings towards math. Montessori instructors have seen hesitancy towards math among their adult students. Many of their students, as well as several survey participants, expressed that the Montessori approach to mathematics helped them, as adults, gain a better understanding of mathematical concepts and increased their confidence. While survey participants agreed that their Montessori teacher education program prepared them to effectively teach math, there is room for further study on the awareness of current research regarding the importance of mathematics in early childhood, increased specificity in Montessori math standards, opportunities for providing mathematical experiences for children throughout the classroom and continued professional development and self-reflection on one’s teaching practice.
M.S.E., Montessori Teacher Education