Student-Teacher Relationship Quality in Montessori and non-Montessori Preschool

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LeBoeuf, Lee, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
LeBoeuf, Lee, University of Virginia

This study capitalized on the first ever national evaluation study of Montessori preschool to investigate whether students in Montessori classrooms have higher average closeness and lower average conflict in their relationship with their teachers than non-Montessori students. Children were randomly assigned to attend (or not attend) Montessori preschool at age three via school or district lottery admission systems. Teacher-reported relationship quality was measured using the Student-Teacher Relationship Scale at the end of the PK4 year. Neither classification as a Montessori classroom or fidelity of Montessori pedagogy implementation (as measured via teacher report) consistently predicted closeness or conflict scores. Consistent with previous research, students’ classroom behavior was associated with closeness and conflict. Unlike previous research, teachers in this sample reported having closer relationships to the Black students (relative to White students), and teacher beliefs predicted conflict scores.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Montessori, Student-Teacher Relationships, Preschool
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