AMI Parent Motivation: Messaging Analysis & The insights
AMI Parent Motivation: Messaging Analysis & The insights from this research inform ways we can better communicate the value of Montessori to parents from all walks of life throughout their childrens educational years. 2 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org 13 focus groups Respondent Screening: 13 Focus Groups in 4 Communities Minneapolis, Seattle Dallas, New Haven Discussio n Length ~2 hrs Dates 3/1/173/15/17 Ages 2150 MOST:
Registered to vote Voted in 2016 elections Active in education choices 8 groups of non-Montessori parents: 5 groups of Montessori parents: Child age 0-5 Variety of preferences and experiences with ECE Child age 0-12 Child with current or past Montessori enrollment 3-4 AMI parents/group and mix of AMS and other Montessori Low-income, higher income, African American, Hispanic, Caucasian/other, preferred setting Nationwide survey: 25 MIN 1,449 parents with children ages 0-16 at home QUANTITATIVE SURVEY 25-minute online survey among 1,449 parents who: Age of child Are decision-makers for their childs early education. Some level of community engagementvoting, attending meetings,
contacting representatives, attending PTA or school board meetings, signing petitions, etc. 10% of parents had a child in Montessori at some point (3% current/7% lapsed). Current, Past or Expected Participation Current Educational Environment Traditional public sc... 29.00% 27.00% 44.00% Home-based and family centric ECE prog... 35% Private sc... Out-of-home private prog... 15% Out-of-home public opt... 10% Hybrid model or patchwork of prog... 40% 14% Charter sc... 3% Home sc... Day care set...
Expecting age 3 4-7 years old Age 8-16 43% Not in a formal school or day car... 12% 23% 15% Representative of U.S. parent population DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE Age Marital Status Age 21-24 4% Age 25-34 38% Living with partner Age 35-44 41% Single, never married Age 45-54 14% Divorced
Age 55-59 2% Married Separated Widowed 77% 8% 10% 3% 1% <1% Gender Male 49% Race/Ethnicity* Female 51% White Caucasian/NonHispanic 63% Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin 18% Black/African American 13%
Region Asian/Asian American 7% Amer. Indian or Alaska Native 2% Northeast 18% Midwest 22% South 37% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander West 23% Some other race <1% 2% Total Household Income for 2016 Less than $35,000 11%
$35,000 to $49,999 16% $50,000 to $74,999 22% $75,000 to $99,999 19% $100,000 to $149,999 22% $150,000 to $199,999 6% $200,000 or more 4% Prefer not to say 1% Dont know 0% Current Employment Status Employed full-time Self-employed 4% Employed part-time
8% Student 1% Full-time homemaker *Adds to over 100% because multiple responses were Not employed but looking allowed for race/ethnicity Education Less than high school <1% High school graduate 11% Some college or trade school 23% Urban 27% College graduate 45% Suburban 55% Post graduate
21% Rural 17% Type of Area Live In 66% 18% 1% Not employed not looking 0% Retired 1% Nationwide survey: 25 MIN 612 Montessori parents with child age 0-16 at home 25-minute online survey among a cross section of 612 parents who: QUANTITATIVE SURVEY Have child currently or have ever enrolled in a Montessori school. Are decision-makers for their childs early education. Have some level of community engagement.
Educational Stage City and Household Montessori Status Assigned Child Cur... 39.00% 16.00% Assigned Child La... Current Only House... 45.00% 0-6 (through Children's House) 6-12 (Elementary) 12-18 (Middle/High School) 49% Lapsed Only House... Split House... 51% 20% 31% 49% Montessori parents with varied geographic, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE Age Marital Status Age 21-24
5% Age 25-34 44% Married Age 35-44 40% Living with partner 5% Age 45-54 10% Single, never married 8% Age 55-59 1% Divorced Separated Gender 81% 4% 1% Widowed
<1% Prefer not to answer <1% Total Household Income for 2016 Less than $35,000 2% $35,000 to $49,999 7% $50,000 to $74,999 19% $75,000 to $99,999 25% $100,000 to $149,999 25% $150,000 to $199,999 12% $200,000 or more Male 41% Female
Prefer not to say 59% Dont know Of Hispanic/Latino/Spanish Origin Region Northeast 23% Midwest Yes 24% No 76% 8% <1% 0% Current Employment Status 19% Employed full-time South 27% Self-employed
3% West 32% Employed part-time 6% Student 1% Race White/Caucasian Black/African American Asian/Asian American Education Less than high school 0% High school graduate 5% Some college or trade school 15% College graduate 51% Post graduate
29% 76% 9% 13% American Indian or Alaska Native 2% Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0% Some other race 3% Type of Area Live In 78% Full-time homemaker 11% Not employed but looking <1% Not employed not looking <1% *The overall representative sample Retired (n=139) was national; oversampling targeted 27 MSAs with a greater number of Montessori school options
1% The Findings Three key areas stand out where AMI Montessori can provide the highest value to parents: Helping children develop into capable individuals by focusing on their moral, behavioral, and emotional development; Providing the highest quality teachers to facilitate that development; and, Bringing parents into the Montessori experience so they can understand the process and aid in their childs growth. 9 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Capable Individuals A capable individual is the most valued outcome of childhood development for potential Montessori parents. 11 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Child aspirations for 76% of Montessori parents Connection Impact Fulfillment
Purpose Capable Positive Self-Reliance Productivity Values Engaged At Ease Successful Accepted Emotions Accountability Inclusiveness Academic Performance Sense of Self Real World Readiness Knowledge Initiative Benefits
Competent Confident Focused Smart Capable Secure Empowered Fulfillment Be in a loving relationship Good parent Strong family Good friend Able to bond with others Has high self-esteem Truly happy with themselves Has a sense of belonging Enjoys life Inner peace Emotionally secure Fulfilled Capable Sense of Self
Inclusiveness Will be more inclusive and accepting of others Will respect themselves and others Encourages happiness and hope Become a wellrounded individual Accountability Morally Prepared
Fosters creativity Encourages self-expression Will develop healthy relationships Creates a sense of purpose Builds independence Builds their sense of identity Become independent thinkers Motivates to contribute to community/society Fosters self-discipline Will take responsibility for their learning Will be able to handle conflict and disagreements Builds their sense of self-worth Develops integrity Knows right from wrong Is respectful Is kind to others Takes responsibility for their actions Montessori parents feel Fortunate and Competent when their children attain ideal early childhood development outcomes through Moral Preparation. Parent Motivations (Values) Child Good Parent Connection
Competent Confident Focused Smart Capable Secure Empowered Fulfillment Be in a loving relationship Good parent Strong family Good friend Able to bond with others
Has high self-esteem Truly happy with themselves Has a sense of belonging Enjoys life Inner peace Emotionally secure Fulfilled Capable Sense of Self Inclusiveness Will be more inclusive and accepting of others Will respect themselves and others Encourages happiness and hope
Become a wellrounded individual I I I I gave my children a better future feel good about myself as a parent have protected my family feel a sense of pride Inter-connected I passed on a legacy to the next generation Parent Emotions Accountability Fosters creativity Encourages selfexpression Will develop healthy relationships Creates a sense of purpose Builds independence Builds their sense of identity Become independent thinkers Motivates to contribute to community/society
Morally Prepared Fosters self-discipline Will take responsibility for their learning Will be able to handle conflict and disagreements Builds their sense of self-worth Develops integrity Knows right from wrong Is respectful Is kind to others Takes responsibility for their actions Fortunate Fortunate Competent
Competent Responsible Confident Elevate Teachers The Montessori curriculum is important to Montessori parents, but when choosing a program for their child, teacher quality is the highest priority. Teacher quality and child safety are paramount when choosing care and education Factors Considered When Choosing Care and Education for Child Not all that important/Not at all a factor Essential Important but not essential Somewhat important factor Quality of teachers and staff 91% 8% 1% Safety of the school and learning environment 91% 8% 1%
Quality of school administration and leadership 83% Specific educational approach and philosophy 82% 15% Teacher and staff stability and retention 82% 14% Teacher training and certification 82% 15% 3% Open and available spot for child 81% 16% 2% 1% 3% 2% Daily schedule matches family needs 79%
17% 3% Quality of the building and classroom 79% 18% 2% Desirable location 78% 19% 2% 78% Discipline and structure The community of people and families involved in the school 72% Cost of tuition 71% Diversity of the student body Child's preference 19% 19% 56%
55% 7% 25% 26% 21% 3% 8% 23% 63% Family tradition 5% 22% 65% Neighbors and friends choices 2% 22% 68% Past personal experience Lesser importance 16% 9% 11%
15% Base: Total Montessori respondents (n=612) Q9. When it comes to choosing care and education for a child, there are a wide range of factors that families often consider. Please identify the extent to which each of the following factors played a role in the decision you made for your child. Nearly every feature of the early childhood learning environment is deemed important by a majority of Montessori parents with teacher quality a priority. Important Contributors (Top 2 Box) Important Contributors (Top 2 Box) Teaches listening skills 82% Teachers guide children to carry out their own learning 74% Children encouraged to reach beyond their current abilities 81% Teaches children to respond to instructions and meet demands 73% Provides hands on learning 81% 80% Provides materials that are natural and reflect the real world Teachers who understand my child's personality and learning style 73%
Teaches reading 80% School is organized and involved around teaching 72% cuses on developing a well-rounded child - academic, social and emotional 80% Children given freedom to work at their own pace without interruption 72% Children encouraged to be curious and creative 80% Provides a fun environment 72% Children encouraged to explore things and make mistakes 80% Provides a structured approach to learning 71% Teaches children how to work and learn with other children 80% Provides unstructured time to explore and play 71%
Parents are involved in their child's education at home 80% School has a diverse student body 79% 71% Certified teachers Children are allowed time to become secure in their knowledge 79% Provides a classroom space designed for shared-learning 70% Teachers focus on the abilities, interests and potential of each child 78% School has small class sizes 70% Teaches science and math skills 78% Teaches children how to work with different adults 70% Children's unique personalities and independence are nurtured 78%
Children work together in small groups 70% Nurturing teachers 77% Teachers who ensure structure and discipline 69% Teachers expect high standards of behavior 77% Parents and families of students form a close-knit community 77% 69% Provides physical activities and recreation 76% Parents are actively involved in strengthening the school Children learn how to respect authority 69% Children are able to care for their space 76% Provides computers, tablets and online learning 68%
Teaches children how to focus on tasks 75% Parents are involved in the classroom 67% Provides many different activities in the same classroom 75% Teaches a second lang... Provides healthy food and encourages good nutrition 75% Teaches religious or cultural values 55% Provides experiences with nature and the outdoors 75% School has a mixed age classroom 54% 61% Montessori leaders place emphasis on pedagogy and classroom environment to evidence program quality and fidelitybut parents judge quality by their interactions and relationships with Montessori teachers.
Teachers are the lynchpin to Montessori success and need to be brought to the forefront. Teacher certification is better understood and more highly valued than program certification. 20 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org While 4% are enrolled in an AMI school, only 1% of parents identify it as such. MONTESSORI SCHOOL CERTIFICATION Current School Has Certification or Membership Affiliation with Montessori Yes Actual School Certification AMI No Neither Unsure 23.00% 51.00% 26.00% 4.00% 15.00% Unaided Awareness
of School Certification 1% AMI 3% AMS 19% Other 81.00% AMS This means that teacher certification is the gateway for setting a high AMI standard in schools and advancing parent demand for fidelity. 22 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Positioning teachers at the forefront of Montessori will accomplish two important objectives: 1. It will attract more teachers because they will understand that they are respected, supported, and empowered; 2. It will send parents clear messages that the quality of Montessori lies in the preparation of its teachers and will contribute to parental preference for programs with the most highly trained and skilled teachers. 23 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org How many AMI trained teachers
do you have and what does your school do to make sure they can fully teach the Montessori way? Being for the Parent American parents have a strong sense of personal agency when it comes to education and see educators as partners in child development, not replacements. 26 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Parents support development in many ways. Actions or Activities to Promote Childs Development Montessori Be present and spend quality time with them Model good habits and relationships NonMontessori 81% 77% 73% 74% Include them in errands and activities
66% 67% Provide hands-on toys and tools for learning 65% 68% Provide structure and routines at home 65% 67% Enroll in a pre-school program 64% Teach life skills in the home such as cooking, gardening, and cleaning 64% 59% Expose to arts, crafts, and music in the home 64% 60% Teach academic skills in the home such as reading or math 63% Expose to different places and people 63%
Expose to nature 62% Expose to new things through field trips, museum visits, library events 61% 54% 64% 53% 59% 56% Base: Total Montessori respondents (n=612); Total Non-Montessori respondents (n=1310) Q7. As a parent, you do a wide range of things both directly and indirectly for your child to promote their development in these early years. Below is a list of actions or activities that some parents might do. For each one, think about the extent to which you (focus/focused/expect to focus) on doing this for your child using the scale: not a focus at all, did this to some degree but not a major focus, or a major focus. Parents seek Montessori as a partner to help them develop their children into capable individualsbut they often feel pushed away. 28 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Montessori is intensely focused on the development of the individual child, but your developmental approach must also make space for the parent they need attention, encouragement, explanation, and confidence to stick with you. 29
Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Barriers for Parents Cost and lack of options for the next grade level are the top reasons for leaving Montessori Base: Parents of children who formerly attended Montessori (n=485) Reasons Stopped Attending Age STARTED attending Montessori 29% Cost of the school versus other options available 0-2 25% No Montessori option for next grade 3 19% Montessori most appropriate in the preschool years 4 19% 18% Undesirable school location or due to
relocation To attend a school that is more desirable overall Age STOPPED attending Montessori 47% 6% 24% 8% 13% 5 20% 8% 6 2% 7-8 2% 28% 15% 12% 15% Child request 9
0% 2% 13% Level of academic challenge 10-11 0% 3% 11% Didn't like the educational approach 12 0% 3% 9% Extra-curricular offerings 7% 4% 13-14 1% 15 0%
Relationships with peers 16+ 0% Special learning needs could not be met Mean (years) 2% 1% 0% 2.9 5.8 Montessori begins to lose students in the transition grades of K-12retention is critical not only for child development, but to develop a strong and appealing Montessori community that drives demand and advances the mission. 32 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Reassure Parents About Academics There is a misconception among parents that Montessori focuses on socioemotional development at the expense of academics and
knowledge building. Desired benefits of early childhood education Lifelong benefits include: Building intelligence Fostering constructive thinking Fostering development of healthy relationships Fostering independence Building resiliency/determination School Years Adult Years Benefits for children in their school years include: Benefits that carry forward into adulthood include: Developing well-rounded students Developing well-rounded individuals Building an academic foundation to excel Preparing for the real world Instilling intellectual curiosity/love of learning Motivating and preparing to excel at career goals Ability to excel on measures of academic success such as standardized tests Preparing them for life
Creating motivation to make contributions Helping to set educational direction by understanding strengths and weaknesses Preparing them for jobs Helping them actualize who they want to be Primary concerns about Montessori education revolve around a perception of insufficient rigor and structure in preparation for non-Montessori academic settings. 36 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Montessori doesnt speak enough about knowledge building and the exceptional ways in which you do it it must be clear that academics and knowledge building are key qualities of Montessori. 37 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Social Justice Montessori achieves social justice by helping parents develop capable and just individuals its about walking the talk.
39 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Parents see societal benefits from their childs ideal development: 37% value Better Behavior most (reduces crime, increases safety for the community overall). 29% value Better Values most (builds respect and tolerance, promotes acceptance of diversity and mutual respect in society, promotes better values). 19% value Better Conditions most. 15% value Better Citizenry most. 40 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org While Montessori parents very much want a just and equitable world, they believe we create it by developing just and equitable individuals through Montessori education. Social justice means greater access to Montessoriand only Montessorians can create that by attracting more teachers and creating more schools in more communities. 42 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Messaging
What it means strategically: 44 We have them at helloprovide the confidence for parents to follow their intuition, select the program, and stick with it. Teachers need to be visible, acknowledged, and multiplied. Be for the parentmake them a partner in the experience. Take credit for building knowledge. Great effort should be put into scaling and retention. Social justice is access to Montessori. You need better, more, and more coordinated communication. Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Parents dont always know what Montessori is,
but they believe it is ideal and want it for their children. They rely on Montessori to help them develop the moral, emotional, and behavioral abilities that they understand to be key to helping their children become capable individuals. 46 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Good messaging is not what we want to say its what people want to hear us say while we remain consistent with our principles. 47 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Quantitative research shows us how to motivate Montessori and nonMontessori parents. 48 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Child aspirations for 76% of Montessori parents Connection
Impact Fulfillment Purpose Capable Positive Self-Reliance Productivity Values Engaged At Ease Successful Accepted Emotions Accountability Inclusiveness Academic Performance Sense of Self Real World Readiness Knowledge
Initiative Benefits Morally Prepared Attributes Citizenship Prepared Behaviorally Prepared Emotional Control Socially Prepared Emotionally Prepared Academically Prepared Child aspirations for 78% of non-Montessori parents Connection Impact Fulfillment Purpose Capable
Positive Self-Reliance Productivity Values Engaged At Ease Successful Accepted Emotions Accountability Inclusiveness Academic Performance Sense of Self Real World Readiness Knowledge Initiative Benefits Morally Prepared Attributes
Citizenship Prepared Behaviorally Prepared Emotional Control Socially Prepared Emotionally Prepared Academically Prepared These two pathways run through the emotional consequence of Capable and the terminal value of Fulfillment is sharedadding Knowledge is the immediate priority for retaining Montessori parents and attracting 34% of nonMontessori parents. 51 Association Montessori Internationale | montessori-ami.org Enriched strategy: 76% of Montessori parents + 34% of non-Montessori parents Connection Impact Fulfillment
Purpose Capable Positive Self-Reliance Productivity Values Engaged At Ease Successful Accepted Emotions Accountability Inclusiveness Academic Performance Sense of Self Real World Readiness Knowledge Initiative Benefits
Morally Prepared Attributes Citizenship Prepared Behaviorally Prepared Emotional Control Socially Prepared Emotionally Prepared Academically Prepared T H E M E SS A G E PAT H It widens your potential market and brings more people into the funnel. It forces you to strengthen faith among those with less faith, aiding retention. It helps you attract more African Americans and Latinos.
It allows you to better compete in the public space. The terminal values best describe Montessoris ideal outcomes, even if the message path requires you to stretch to get there. T H E M E SS A G E F R A M E Montessori works in every setting for the success of each child. We help parents develop children who are morally, emotionally, and behaviorally prepared for the real world. Our teachers support your childs natural development, building the capability to become productive, fulfilled adults who contribute to the world. Teachers help children follow their interests and passions to develop strong skills in academics, leadership, self-discipline, responsibility, independence, and initiative. T H E M E SS A G E F R A M E
Our classrooms are hands-on, self-paced, collaborative, and joyful, creating a lifelong learner and doer. AMI Teacher Certification requires rigorous training that ensures your childs distinct personality and independence will be nurtured into a capable and connected adult. An AMI Certified School is the mark of the highest quality Montessori, where the entire school supports the teacher in developing your childs full potential. T H E N A R R AT I V E Montessori works in every setting for the success of each child. Montessori teachers support your childs natural development, building the capability to become productive, fulfilled adults who contribute to the world. Montessori helps parents develop children who are morally, emotionally, and behaviorally prepared for the real world. Our teachers help children follow their interests and passions to develop strong skills in academics, leadership, self-discipline, responsibility, independence, and initiative. Your childs education will be hands-on, self-paced, collaborative, and joyfuleverything thats needed to create a lifelong learner and doer. Look for AMI Montessori Teacher Certification and youre ensured that your teacher has been rigorously trained to nurture your child into a capable and connected individual. The mark of a highquality Montessori school is where the entire school supports the teacher in developing your childs full potential. Thank You
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