This isn’t an idea for specific research so much as a method of gathering data that might be analyzed in any number of interesting ways.
What if we had a video record of what children do throughout the day in a prepared environment? A record of the actions of a specific child from the perspective of that child? What if we had similar data from traditional preschools to compare with children in Montessori environments?
Researchers would have observational data to support…
- normalization by analyzing time spent concentrating on tasks
- as children spend more time in a Montessori environment
- as compared with children in a traditional preschool environment
- the three hour work cycle and false fatigue by analyzing time spent concentrating on tasks
- any number of additional Montessori theories
The observational and action research methods that created the Montessori method have fallen out of favor in the scientific community. Video records archiving the daily choices of a large number of randomly selected children in Montessori and other environments would provide data for researchers to examine, code, and analyze. Strong, well supported conclusions about the effects of the Montessori method could be drawn from these studies and published in well respected peer reviewed journals, thus drawing the attention of the scientific community.
Tiny wireless and self contained video cameras are readily available and reasonably priced. Here are two video cameras that I discovered in SkyMall catalog while traveling this summer to give you an idea of what is available on the market. The cameras could be fitted into hats, headbands, or other clothing for children to wear at school.