Does research support Montessori education? How do we know that it works?
Studies about Montessori graduates have shown evidence for the following:
1. A longitudinal study of Milwaukee high school graduates showed that students who had attended Montessori preschool and elementary programs significantly outperformed a peer control group on math/science scores. “In essence,” the study found, “attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school.”
-- Kathryn Rindskopf Dohrmann, Ph.D., MPH, “Outcomes for Students in
a Montessori Program: A Longitudinal Study of the Experience in the
Milwaukee Public Schools” (AMI/USA May, 2003).
2. A study comparing Montessori with traditional middle school found significantly higher student motivation and socialization among adolescents in Montessori programs compared to traditional school environments. “There were strong differences suggesting that Montessori students were feeling more active, strong, excited, happy, relaxed, sociable, and proud while engaged in academic work. They were also enjoying themselves more, they were more interested in what they were doing, and they wanted to be doing academic work more than the traditional students.”
-- Kevin Rathunde, Ph.D., “A Comparison of Montessori and
Traditional Middle Schools: Motivation, Quality of Experience, and
Social Context,” The NAMTA Journal 28.3 (Summer 2003): pp. 12-52.
3. A comparison of Montessori students with students in other school programs found that 5-year-old Montessori students scored higher on both academic and behavioral tests than the control group. The study also found that 12-year-old Montessori students wrote more
sophisticated and creative stories and showed a more highly developed sense of community and social skills than students in other programs.
-- Angeline Lillard, Ph.D., “Evaluating Montessori Education,” Science
131:1893-94 (Sept. 29, 2006) See PDF file below.