Montessori's Cohesiveness In The Classroom

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As early as 1962, Maslow posited a psychological hierarchy in which the need for belonging took precedence over needs for knowledge and understanding. According to
Slavin (1981), students who worked together liked school more than students who were not allowed to do so. They were more likely to say that they wanted their classmates to do well in school and that they felt their classmates also wanted them to do well. By participating in social-climate setting activities, both students and teachers came to better understand each other’s value systems and began to create a cohesive environment. This enabled them to work together toward the common goal of social and academic achievement (Moos & Moos, 1973). Cohesion within the classroom was of
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When students worked in isolation, they were unlikely to see each other as helpful. If they were in competition with one another, they were unlikely to see classmates as caring about each other’s work (Schaps et al., 1997).
The good news about creating cohesiveness through classroom communities was that many things could be done with a modest investment of time and energy (Schaps et al., 1997). Martin (1992), recalling the success that Montessori had with the street urchins of Rome in the school she began, suggested that educators could serve the great needs of students by creating what she called a “school home” where the students would learn not only the three Rs, but also the three Cs: care, concern, and connection. The concept of the school home was essentially the same as that of the classroom community. A limited number of studies have been conducted to date that clearly show
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Goodenow (1993) studied 353 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students in a suburban New England middle school. A large majority (93%) were white and of European-American ancestry. The
School Opinion Questionnaire was administered during regular English classes. The
Class Belonging and Support Scale was also utilized. Goodenow found positive relationships between urban middle school students’ feelings of belonging and their academic motivation and effort. Bryk and Driscoll (1988) found positive relationships between a communal school organization and high school students’ motivation, academic interest, and performance. Solomon, Watson, Battish, Schaps, and Delucchi (1992) found numerous positive associations between a sense of the classroom as a community and students’ academic and interpersonal attitudes and motivations. These studies supported the idea that cohesiveness and a feeling of classroom community went hand-in-hand and could be essential in creating a positive classroom climate.
Montoya and Brown (1990) were involved with one of the more recent

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