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RESEARCH & OUTCOMES

"Montessori programs have grown considerable over the past decades. There have been two major facets to this growth: expansion from private to public settings and extension from preschool into elementary, junior high school and beyond. Growth has brought concerns about outcomes, especially academic ones. In particular, there have been questions about the performance of Montessori students when they move on to more conventional settings. This research addresses those questions."

"If we want the best academic outcomes, the most efficient and cost-effective route to achieve that is, counterintuitively, not to narrowly focus on academics, but to also ad- dress children’s social, emotional, and physical development. Similarly, the best and most efficient route to physical health is through also addressing emotional, social, and cognitive wellness. Emotional wellness, similarly, depends critically on social, cognitive, and physical wellness."

"Quality preschool programs that develop the whole child through age-appropriate socioemotional and cognitive skill-building hold promise for significantly improving child outcomes. However, preschool programs tend to either be teacher-led and didactic, or else to lack academic content. One preschool model that involves both child- directed, freely chosen activity and academic content is Montessori. Here we report a longitudinal study that took advantage of randomized lottery-based admission to two public Montessori magnet schools in a high-poverty American city."

"The purpose of our study was to document the effects of Montessori education on development and school readiness in preschool-aged children. This study supports the Montessori educational philosophy by demonstrating that this pedagogical method teaches preschool children the social and academic skills necessary to succeed in elementary school. Our study is the first to focus deeply on Montessori preschool education by following children through two years of Montessori preschool education from age 3 to age 5."

"Research on the outcomes of Montessori education is scarce and results are inconsistent. One possible reason for the inconsistency is variations in Montessori implementation fidelity. To test whether outcomes vary according to implementation fidelity, we examined preschool children enrolled in high fidelity classic Montessori pro- grams, lower fidelity Montessori programs that supplemented the program with conventional school activities, and, for comparison, conventional programs."

"An analysis of students’ academic and social scores compares a Montessori school with other elementary school education programs."

A summary of key findings from two peer-reviewed studies: "Middle School Students’ Motivation and Quality of Experience: A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional Middle Schools" (Rathunde & Csikszentmihalyi) and "The Social Context of Middle School: Teachers, Friends, and Activities in Montessori and Traditional School Environments" (Rathunde).

"There have been a number of prior evaluations that have explored Montessori education and have measured outcomes of participation in Montessori education, both in the public and private sectors. While sometimes demonstrating findings in favor of Montessori education, many of these studies have serious limitations, such as small sample sizes, questionable authenticity of Montessori methods, and selection bias... The study described below attempts to fill some of the gaps, particularly for research focusing on public sector Montessori education."

"The Montessori educational method has existed for over 100 years, but evaluations of its effectiveness are scarce. This review paper has three aims, namely to (1) identify some key elements of the method, (2) review existing evaluations of Montessori education, and (3) review studies that do not explicitly evaluate Montessori education but which evaluate the key elements identified in (1). The goal of the paper is therefore to provide a review of the evidence base for Montessori education, with the dual aspirations of stimulating future research and helping teachers to better understand whether and why Montessori education might be effective."