Research on Montessori

Recent Research in Support of Montessori Education:1) A study published in the September 29, 2006 issue of Science reports that “at least when strictly implemented, Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by…other types of schools.” The study is titled “The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education” and the authors are Angeline Lillard and Nicole Else-Quest. Read the article at the following link:

2) Jane Carol Manner (Florida International University: “A Comparison of Academic Achievement Between Montessori and Non-Montessori Students in a Public School Setting”, Dissertation, 1999) studied two groups of second grade students from “a large, urban, public school district in southern Florida,” one Montessori and one traditional. Students from the groups were paired based on nearly identical scores in either reading or math in the first year. Manner found no initial difference of significance in mathematics (as measured by the Stanford Achievement Test) between the Montessori and traditional student groups. However, testing in the second year of the study reportedly showed the Montessori group surpassing the traditional group by 3 percentile points. This gap increased to over 7 percentile points during the third year of the study. In reading, Manner found that Montessori students, again matched with traditional students with nearly identical initial scores, surpassed the traditional students’ scores in the second year. This trend continued in the third year. Within the reading component of her study, Manner found that Montessori students’ scores surpassed both the matched pair traditional students and the district’s traditional students as a group.

3) John Robert Faro (Montana State University: “A Comparison of Academic Achievement of Students Taught By The Montessori Method And By Traditional Methods of Instruction in the Elementary Grades”, Dissertation, 1997) studied elementary students from grades 2 through 5 within the Helena Public School System and compared two groups of students during the Spring semester of 1996, one taught through traditional methods and one taught by Montessori methods. Faro states that overall, the two educational methods provided students with “comparable achievement test scores” and recommended a longitudinal study to more fully evaluate the differences. Within his overall findings, Faro noted: 1) the aptitude scores of Montessori students in this study “was significantly higher than that of traditional students.” 2) At the second grade level, students in traditional classrooms achieved at higher levels than Montessori students in both mathematics computation and mathematics concepts and applications. 3) At the fifth grade level, Montessori students did “significantly better” than traditional students on subtests for language expression and for social studies. 4) At the fifth grade level, males in the Montessori classroom achieved higher on the subtest than did Montessori females, traditional females or traditional males. 5) At the second grade level, low aptitude Montessori students achieved at “significantly higher levels” than low aptitude students in traditional classes; and at the fifth grade level, high aptitude Montessori students’ scores were “significantly higher” than those of high aptitude students from traditional classrooms.

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