Educational Research on Montessori

ResearchA study comparing outcomes of children at a public inner-city Montessori school with children who attended traditional schools indicates that Montessori education leads to children with better social and academic skills.

The study conducted the the USA compared the performance of Montessori students against a control group using a sampling technique that removed or reduced potential biasses such as family/parent background and attitudes to education.

The researchers concluded that “when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.” The study appears in the journal Science (2006-Lillard-1893-4) .

5-year-olds

  • Compared to non-Montessori students, Montessori students were:
  • Significantly better prepared for school in reading and math skills
  • Better on “executive function,” (the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, which is an indicator of future school and life success)
  • Better on the social and behavioral tests
  • Demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness
  • Much more likely in the playground to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.

12-year-olds

In cognitive and academic measures Montessori children:

  • Produced essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and as using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.”
  • Were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” for dealing with unpleasant social situations, such as having someone cut into a line.
  • indicated a “greater sense of community” at their school and felt that students there respected, helped and cared about each other.

The Montessori and non-Montessori students scored similarly on spelling, punctuation and grammar, and there was not much difference in academic skills related to reading and math. This parity occurred despite the Montessori children not being regularly tested and graded.

Montessori in Indigenous Communities in Rural Australia

A Montessori pilot program in Armidale NSW including a mix of indigenous and non-indigenous students over 4 years showed children improved their literacy and numeracy levels by up to 2 to 3 years and topped the NAPLAN test in the school.

Montessori Pre-schoolers Less Sedentary

Levels of objectively-measured sedentary behavior were significantly lower among children attending Montessori preschools compared to children attending traditional preschools according to a Montessori-research1479-5868-10-2 The researchers conclude that “These the policies and environments of the Montessori preschool have the potential to influence the time preschoolers spend in sedentary behavior.”

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