Title page for ETD etd-1823142339731121

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Zell, Stacy Kay
Author's Email Address szell@vt.edu
URN etd-1823142339731121
Title Characterizing the Conversation: A Historical Re-view of Maria Montessori's Visits to the United States 1913-1918
Degree PhD
Department Human Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Fu, Victoria R.
Garrison, James E.
Murphy, Susan
Nespor, Jan K.
Hunt, Thomas C. Committee Chair
  • Social Foundations
  • Democracy
  • History
  • Teacher Education
  • Maria Montessori
Date of Defense 1997-01-02
Availability unrestricted
This historical re-view of the events and interactions of

Maria Montessori's visit to the United States between the

years 1913 and 1918 begins by examining Montessori's

personal history, with an emphasis on her educational

background leading up to her becoming the first female

physician in Italy. After discussing her scientific

background briefly, the document specifically addresses

several of Montessori's educational concepts. Next, this

study examines specific nuances of organization, power

and intent found in the educational system of the United

States at the time of her visits. Particular emphasis is

placed on the implications of industrialization, increasing

immigration and the response of the educational

establishment to these issues. Interactions and events from

her visits in the United States follow. Montessori's

influences on and experiences with prominent figures in the

U.S. at that time are accentuated through the events that

highlight her travels. After detailing each visit in the

historical context in which it occurred, the piece continues

with the author's discussion of how the dissertation applies

to teaching history in the foundations. The piece concludes

with conceptual suggestions of ways to increase diverse

social awareness and encourage community-based

responses of pre-service and in-service public school


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