Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology

First Advisor

Richard D. Sullivan


Education is one of the most important social institutions that can improve quality of life. While our schools, ostensibly, provide for equal education for all, they differ in their curricula and resources that ultimately impact the quality of learning experiences. Distinguished educational organizations emphasize the need to implement our curricula with constructivist pedagogy. Montessori is a holistic educational model that embraces this approach. While studies show that Montessori methods provide positive outcomes for students, these studies are largely limited to performance of students attending private schools. The purpose of this work is to examine the effectiveness of public conventional and public Montessori schools with respect to student academic and social outcomes. Data on student academic performance derived from School Report Cards and data on student social competencies were obtained from the 5Essentials Survey Reports. The results suggest that overall students attending conventional schools outperformed academically students in Montessori schools and students who attended high income schools outperformed students who attended low income schools. In addition, a greater percentage of students who attended conventional schools exhibited self-control and responsibility while a greater percentage of students who attended Montessori schools displayed cooperation. Finally, data suggest a positive link between academic performance and social competencies. Sociological theories are discussed in attempts to understand the variation in student performance and explore fully the role of social class, race and ethnicity in shaping this performance.

KEYWORDS: Montessori schools, public schools, academic and social outcomes, sociological theories of education, education inequality, class and race in education


Imported from ProQuest Franczak_ilstu_0092N_11270.pdf


Page Count


Included in

Sociology Commons