An exploration into the attitudes and experiences of Montessori trained practitioners on the implementation of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework in early years classrooms
Citation:Ruth Anne Leopold, 'An exploration into the attitudes and experiences of Montessori trained practitioners on the implementation of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework in early years classrooms'
Ruth Anne Leopold.pdf (Thesis) 626.1Kb
The introduction of Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework in 2009 sought to streamline curriculum provision and intended to honour all existing pedagogical practices, especially the Montessori method, a well-established and popular early years curriculum in Ireland. It focused on bringing a child-centred, play-based and emergent pedagogy to the forefront. However, its inconsistent implementation, marked by a lack of required formal training, has potentially created uncertainty amongst practitioners, who may feel ill equipped to integrate the framework into current practices. This study endeavoured to explore this uncertainty by focusing on the experiences of Montessori-trained practitioners, to establish the integrative potential of both Montessori and Aistear and the determining factors between them. A qualitative methods approach was adopted with seven purposefully sampled participants that completed preliminary reflective journals which informed and helped frame semi-structured interviews that followed. Findings revealed polarised attitudes, determined mostly by engagement in recent self-motivated, self-financed CPD. Participants who had recently engaged in CPD perceived more convergent features of both Montessori and Aistear, exemplified by indications of self-reflection and adaptability, in relation to professional identity and competence. Participants who had not recently engaged in CPD somewhat rejected Aistear, marked by a lack of confidence in utilising play and a lack of knowledge in Aistear as a framework, thus inhibiting integrative practice. This indicates an absence of transformational and appropriately funded CPD, which needs to spotlight Montessori practice in line with play pedagogies and encourage reflective practice, in order to inspire curriculum innovation in early years classrooms.
Author: Leopold, Ruth Anne
Advisor:Haals Brosnan, Maja
Qualification name:Master in Education Studies (Early Childhood Education)
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available