Montessori Research

Montessori Education Provides Better Outcomes than Traditional Methods, Study Indicates

A 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 appears in the Sept. 29, 2006 issue of the journal Science.

Montessori Provides Better Outcomes 'Science' Article on Montessori Research 'Science' Article Supporting Documents

Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program
A Longitudinal Study of the Experience in the Milwaukee Public Schools

"This study supports the hypothesis that Montessori education has a positive long-term impact. Additionally, it provides an affirmative answer to questions about whether Montessori students will be successful in traditional schools."

"A significant finding in this study is the association between a Montessori education and superior performance on the Math and Science scales of the ACT and WKCE. In essence, attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school."

Download research report (PDF 127 KB)

A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional Middle Schools: Motivation, Quality of Experience, and Social Context
by Kevin Rathunde

With the help of co-investigator Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Dr. Rathunde compared the experiences and perceptions of middle school students in Montessori and traditional schools using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). Montessori students reported a significantly better quality of experience in their academic work than did traditional students. In addition, Montessori students perceived their schools as a more positive community for learning, with more opportunities for active, rather than passive, learning.

This study was sponsored by the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA, an affiliate organisation of AMI) and published in The NAMTA Journal 28:3 (Summer, 2003), pages 12-52.

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Optimal Developmental Outcomes: The Social, Moral, Cognitive, and Emotional Dimensions of a Montessori Education
by Annette M. Haines, Kay Baker, and David Kahn

This series of articles (including a new introduction by Annette Haines, NAMTA's Director of Research) spells out optimal outcomes of Montessori education for the early childhood, elementary, and adolescent years. Haines states, "we find the possibility of an educational continuum that extends naturally along a developmental path from birth to adulthood. It is hoped that the delineation of this path within the three distinct developmental stages will enable educators to look at students and schools from a new perspective."

Sources: The NAMTA Journal 25:2, Spring, 2000; The NAMTA Journal 26:1, Winter, 2001; The NAMTA Journal 28:1, Winter 2003.

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Visit NAMTA's website for additional research studies and resources.