research supporting montessori education

According to a longitudinal study, Montessori students did far better on the academic achievement measure than their control group peers. More importantly, income-based achievement gaps were much smaller for Montessori students than for control group students. “Montessori education elevated all children’s performance on several measures and made the performance of groups that typically do less well more equal. First, academic performance of children in Montessori programs was significantly stronger over time…Furthermore, Montessori education made substantial headway in reducing the income gap in achievement across the preschool years…Importantly, the higher achievement in Montessori was not at the expense of social skills or liking of school….[children] in Montessori programs performed better on tests of social cognition, were more mastery oriented, and expressed more liking of academic tasks relative to how much they liked recreational tasks.”[1]

A 2006 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 was conducted by Angeline Lillard, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia who has been studying Montessori’s methods for more than two decades, and Nicole Else-Quest, a psychology professor at Villanova University.

During her comparison, Lillard discovered that the 5-year-old Montessori students in the study proved to be significantly better prepared for elementary school in reading and math skills than the non-Montessori children. The Montessori children also tested better on “executive function,” which is described as the ability to adapt to changing and more complex problems, an indicator of future school and life success.

Montessori children also displayed better abilities on the social and behavioral tests, demonstrating a greater sense of justice and fairness. On the playground, the Montessori students were much more likely to engage in emotionally positive play with peers, and less likely to engage in rough play.

Among the 12-year-olds from both groups, the Montessori children, in cognitive and academic measures, produced essays that were rated as “significantly more creative and using significantly more sophisticated sentence structures.” In social and behavioral measures, 12-year-old Montessori students were more likely to choose “positive assertive responses” for dealing with unpleasant social situations, such as having someone cut in a line. They also indicated a “greater sense of community” at their school and felt that students there were respected, helped, and cared about each other. Lillard 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.[2]

[1] Lillard AS, Heise MJ, Richey EM, Tong X, Hart A and Bray PM (2017) Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study. Front. Psychol. 8:1783. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01783

[2]Lillard, P.P. (2011). Montessori: a modern approach: New York: Shocken Books

research supporting educational technology

An increasing amount of data suggests educational technology “edtech” makes instruction in diverse classrooms more effective and efficient. In a meta-analysis of the effectiveness of online and blended learning, SRI International found that it does raise achievement. One of the most significant benefits of technology in the classroom is that it brings lessons to life and increases engagement by bringing relevance, personalization, collaboration, and connected learning experiences to the learner. For disadvantaged learners, digital learning can be a much-needed bridge to equity. For at-risk learners, a 2014 report by the Stanford Center for Policy in Education (SCOPE) that reviewed 70 studies found that technology-based strategies can provide the support needed to help learners stay in school and succeed.[1]

[1] Firn, G., Dr. (2016, February 24). Educational Technology Grants for Teachers.


montessori vs. traditional education

This video was created based on the observations of a Montessori parent and not all opinions are necessarily endorsed by Modern Montessori Charter School.