Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Education


During the very early twentieth century, Dr. Maria Montessori produced a pedagogical approach that permitted the developmental delayed, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and the youngest of children to advance their cognition and adaptive skills to conventional standards. Her renowned "Montessori Method" was unleashed in 1906 in her home country of Italy and found its way to the shore of the United States soon after. This research will compare the implementation of the Montessori Method in two states, Rhode Island and New York. Both states invested time and money into the instructional ideals of Dr. Montessori in response to the advice of educators and, as is frequently overlooked in the scholarly literature, at the request of parents and community organizations. This study will focus on policy implementation: the how and the who, and on the overall growth and decline of Montessori programs, concentrating on the role parents played.

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