Montessori 6-9 classroom
9 October 2023 - 9:48am

A recently published research article found that, telative to traditional education, Montessori education has modest but meaningful positive effects on children’s academic and non-academic (executive function, creativity and social-emotional) outcomes. This is indicated by a meta-analysis of 32 studies in which it was possible to compare traditional business-as-usual education to Montessori education.

On academic outcomes, Montessori students performed about 1/4 of a standard deviation better than students in traditional education. The magnitude of these effects could be considered small when compared to findings obtained in tightly-controlled laboratory studies, but they could be considered to be medium-large to large when compared to studies in real-world school contexts involving standardised tests.

Most (29) of the included studies were conducted in schools implementing Montessori as a full program; the remaining three studies were short-term add-ons to otherwise traditional school curricula.

The effect sizes for academic outcomes are similar to those obtained in other studies that compared “No Excuses” charter schools to business-as-usual urban schools.

The magnitude of Montessori education’s non-academic effects was slightly stronger than its effects on academic outcomes. Montessori students performed about 1/3 of a standard deviation higher than students in traditional education on non-academic outcomes, including self-regulation (executive function), well-being at school, social skills and creativity.

The magnitude of Montessori education’s effects was greater for randomized than non-randomised study designs, greater for preschool and elementary school than for middle and high school, and greater for private Montessori compared to public Montessori settings.