Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an approach that teaches self-regulation, self-monitoring, and social skills, and builds skills that increase a child’s level of emotional intelligence (EQ). SEL has been shown to be an effective method of reducing negative social interactions and increasing academic achievement. SEL is incorporated as part of the Montessori curriculum. This proposal addresses the question of whether children who have at least three years of primary level Montessori education exhibit higher EQ at the secondary level than students without a Montessori background. The problem statement explained the problem of contending with students who have not had the benefit of learning from an SEL curriculum. Students with low EQ contribute to an anti-productive learning environment in the classroom setting, as well as placing constant pressure upon schools and teachers working within the parameters of limited resources. The Montessori school’s SEL model is described. The research design and approach section described the quantitative nature of this study, a description of the study’s participants, the study’s setting, and the procedures for procuring permission and access to the population being studied: male and female high school juniors. Within the methods section, the purpose of the study, the researcher’s role and possible biases, the sampling techniques, the following subjects were described: the research question, the hypothesis, the data analysis techniques describing the testing instrument, the use of SPSS for analysis, the statistical procedures and rationale explaining why the independent t-test is the most appropriate statistical method to analyze the data and the interpretation methods for this study. This research proposal suggests directions for future research by shedding light on effective strategies for implementing future SEL programs via curriculum integration as opposed to new program additions that are costly and time-consuming, and how SEL can make effective and meaningful contributions to the field of education.
The purpose of this research proposal was to describe a study where the effectiveness of the Montessori school’s learning model of the incorporation of SEL education is put to the test. The main thrust of this proposal was to test two groups of high school students, those with Montessori education until eighth grade, and those without any Montessori educational experience, using a valid instrument of measurement, to discover if the Montessori school’s SEL curriculum has a discernable, long-term effect upon student’s EQ scores. This proposal described the importance of including SEL in school curriculums. The challenges of teaching students with low SEL within a classroom setting and school systems with stretched resources were examined. The Montessori system of teaching was described as a model incorporating SEL and the benefits it brings to its students for acquiring the skills needed to enhance learning and life skills. The structure of the study was described and the push towards teaching art to youth was evident. The sampling population, the study’s setting, the purpose of the study, the hypothesis, the research questions, and the statistical procedures were explicated, as well as the rationale for the study and its techniques.
This research proposal was interesting because of the personal experience I have with the Montessori school system. I was most excited when I realized I could find a way to prove the effectiveness of an aspect I admire within the Montessori school teaching model.
However, within this intense interest arose some challenges to overcome within the study, as well as other personal challenges. The problem of researcher bias was addressed through the use of a valid measuring instrument and employing the help of other teachers to administer the inventory that will be used once the study is conducted. Choosing a large number for the samples will also help mitigate the effect of researcher bias. In writing this proposal, another difficulty was encountered: the new skill of writing statistical methodology and analysis had to be developed.
Upon completion of this proposal, the completion of the study and subsequent publication will be pursued. Future research directions will reflect the outcome of this study. If the Montessori model of SEL learning is shown to have a clear effect upon EQ in children, the next natural progression would be to study if students with Montessori educational experience have higher academic achievement scores than the general population, and what components of the academic program could contribute to higher academic knowledge and success. Another possibility for future directions is if the EQs of students are higher for former Montessori students, does this also mean that they are more self-confident, or even happier? It would be interesting to test this question with emotional inventories to discover the answer.