Benefits of Choice in a Montessori Classroom on Student Behavior and Focus
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Studies have shown when students are given a choice, students are more likely to be engaged in the task along with having higher completion rates. Montessori philosophy emphasizes the importance of giving students choice of work; the philosophy encourages student responsibility and enables students to have more control of the environment. Through a prepared environment, children should be able to make choices on the works they want to complete, or in which order they want to complete them. Middle school students often lack motivation and engagement; through student choice, motivation and engagement will ideally increase. This case study was in a Montessori middle school mathematics classroom. There were three classes of students, two sixth grade classes and one-seventh grade class. Students in this study were posed with various choices throughout their math classes. The data was recorded through teacher observation, student surveys, and work completion during times when students made choices. Through observation, the study showed students had greater levels of engagement when presented with a choice. Student work completion rates also were higher when students were able to select their work. The student survey suggested the majority of student’s preferred to be given a choice in their work and students felt they produced higher quality work when given a choice.