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Title: How the use of Montessori sensorial material supports children's creative problem solving in the pre-school classroom
Author: Bahatheg, Raja
ISNI:       0000 0004 2727 0916
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2011
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Maria Montessori famously designed her own materials to support children’s development. Thus far, the literature which focuses on Montessori Sensorial education - and on creativity, problem solving and creative problem solving - has not investigated connections between these matters. This study investigated the effect of using the Montessori Method on children’s skills, especially in creative problem solving. This research examines the integration of Montessori materials into a social context to develop children’s creative problem solving, and analyses these data using the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) framework [Isaksen et al., 2000] and Rogoff’s model [1990] of social interaction. The study provides a new way of using the CPS framework, for data analysis, rather than as a way of training an individual or a group in solving problems creatively. The methodology combines a quasi-experimental design with a sample of qualitative cases. The research was conducted in one pre-school in Saudi Arabia, in the city of Riyadh, and involved twenty-four five-year-old children (12 boys, 12 girls) and four teachers. Six matched pairs of children were observed using Montessori sensorial materials (MSM) for one academic year. All the children were assessed on their problem solving capacities, in order to compare their development, using the British Ability Scale-II. The results from the quantitative analysis reveal significant differences between the experimental and control groups in their capacity to solve problems, using a pre-post-test of the four subscales of the BAS II. The qualitative analysis shows social interaction assists children in the “understanding of the challenge” component of the creative problem solving process while individual differences were identified in relation to the three creative skills. The results revealed the children’s different ways of framing and solving their own problems creatively through exploring different positions of the materials and applying them in creative solutions. The research also found that children’s own individual experiences with, and interests in, the material affected their creative problem solving.
Supervisor: Jones, David ; Voutsina, Chronoula Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education