This section will feature various research studies on Montessori education.
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.
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 organization of AMI) and published in The NAMTA Journal 28:3 (Summer, 2003), pages 12-52.
Download research report (PDF 152 KB)
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.
Download research report (PDF 200 KB)
Visit NAMTA's website for additional research studies and resources.
Recent Empirical Research on Montessori Education in Germany
In Communications 2/2008 Harald Ludwig writes on "Recent Empirical Research on Montessori Education in Germany". He explains that 'Empirical studies about concepts of new education have a long tradition. It would be a mistake to think that such studies only resulted from the empirical educational and teaching research dominant in German educational science in recent years. Whereas older studies cannot quite do justice to today's standards of empirical research, we should not simply ignore the knowledge gained from these studies. Besides, from a scientifically theoretical point of view, they can serve as critical correctives to the one-sidedness of today's research methods.'
(...) 'Today we can find in Germany many empirical studies on Montessori education of different quality. A brief impression might be gleaned from an overview of empirical research literature of German speaking countries included in the appendix. While this overview does not claim to be exhaustive, anyone looking for a summarized evaluation of older, yet not outdated empirical studies on Montessori education in Germany, should have a look at the contribution by Reinhard Fischer, published in 1999.'