Capstone/Dissertation Title

Concentration: A Pathway To Learning


Habib Amini


Fall 2020



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Kimberly Hartung, Ed.D.

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Khuzana DeVaan, Ed.D.

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Judith A Blyckert, Ed.D.


This study looks at the observable effects of influences on students’ concentration or engagement in learning in the classrooms of two publicly-funded and one private Montessori elementary schools. Using a phenomenological method of inquiry within the paradigm of qualitative research, the study explores literature and collects data through observations and interviews to determine the nature and origins of these influences in the above selected schools. The findings show three sources of influence affecting students' concentration at varying degrees, depending on the type of the selected school: 1) the duality of objectives, caused by the phenomenon of applying Montessori method in synchrony with some demands of state and federal standards and assessment laws, 2) the Montessori affiliation features, and 3) the teachers’ qualifications and competences in coping with such duality of objectives and Montessori affiliation features in their classrooms. Findings show the effects of these influences as modifications in Montessori teaching practices and materials, management of classroom, and management of children’s individual work and groupwork. These effects are more observable in the school with no Montessori affiliation and to a lesser extent in the public Montessori school that is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS). In the private school, accredited by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), findings suggest that duality of objectives and affiliation features of the school do not significantly impact teacher’s competences and practices, are not major influences on students’ concentration and engagement in learning, and do not result in observable modification of Montessori materials, environment, and pedagogics.








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