You are invited to participate in a research study that explores epistemological growth in former Montessori students by the end of their first year in college. Your participation in this study requires that you take an online survey that will take approximately 30-45 minutes to fill out. In addition, you may be requested to take part in a face to face or Skype interview process in which you will be asked questions about your college experiences this year and your ideas about knowledge and knowing. The duration of the interview will be approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. With your permission, the interview will be audio-taped and transcribed, the purpose thereof being to capture and maintain an accurate record of the discussion. Your name will not be used at all. On transcripts and data collected you will be referred to only by way of a pseudonym.
This study will be conducted by the researcher Rebecca Keith, a doctoral candidate at Saint Mary’s College of California. The survey may be completed online between January 20th and February 28th, 2012. If you are chosen to participate in the interview process, the interview will be undertaken at a time and location that is mutually suitable, including the possibility of using Skype technology.

Risks and Benefits:
The research will hopefully contribute to the understanding of the development of personal epistemology in former Montessori students and the possible influence of the Montessori experience on this process, which could influence improvement in primary and secondary education practice. Participation in this study could involve some emotional risks as it is possible that some of the questions and the reflections they engender could touch on emotionally sensitive areas for you, or cause you to remember uncomfortable situations that you might not wish to discuss. If this occurs, you may choose not to answer the question, or to terminate the interview and refuse to participate in the study. There is no financial remuneration for your participation in this study.

Data Storage to Protect Confidentiality:
Under no circumstances whatsoever will you be identified by name in the course of this research study, or in any publication thereof. Every effort will be made that all information provided by you will be treated as strictly confidential. All data will be coded and securely stored, and will be used for professional purposes only

How the Results Will Be Used:
This research study is to be submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education at Saint Mary’s College of California. The results of this study will be published as a dissertation. In addition, information may be used for educational purposes in professional presentation(s) and/or educational publication(s).