Research and Resources

Research

A growing body of research supports the effectiveness of Montessori education over a range of outcomes, including school readiness, academic achievement, executive function skills, and more.

Featured Research

Montessori—The Science Behind the Genius by Dr. Angeline Lillard

Oxford University Press, 2017

Lillard’s 2017 book is a comprehensive summary of the developmental psychology underpinning the Montessori method.

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Public Montessori Raises Achievement, Closes Gaps

Frontiers in Psychology, 2017

This three-year study of four public Montessori schools in New Haven reduced achievement gaps across income levels and rated Montessori children higher in academic achievement, social cognition, mastery orientation, and school enjoyment. This work is the basis for an ongoing federally funded national study.

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Montessori Shows Strengths Across Race and Income

Riley Institute at Furman, 2018

This study of 45 public Montessori schools in South Carolina found that Montessori students met more standards and showed more growth (especially in low-income and Black sub-groups), showed more creativity, and had fewer absences, discipline events and suspensions.

MontessoriPublic Article • View/Download PDF

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What the research shows

Dozens of studies show how Montessori supports a wide range of developmental outcomes. Download the summary here.

Executive Functions:

Montessori supports executive function skills, including self-regulation, working memory, planning, and inhibitory control. Executive functions predict positive life-long outcomes such as academic achievement, income potential, and marital satisfaction.

Social Development:

Montessori supports social problem solving ability, a sense of community and social justice, positive perceptions of classmates, and construcive social problem-solving.

Academic Achievement:

Montessori supports self-regulation and intrinsic motivation, which correlate with academic achievement. In language arts, children in Montessori classrooms have shown strengths in decoding, letter-word identification, reading assessments, sentence structure, and writing creativity. In mathematics, children have shown higher scores in applied problem solving, understanding of math concepts, and standardized test scores.

School Readiness:

While the Montessori approach recognizes that learning begins at birth, well before conventional schooling starts, children in Montessori preschool and kindergarten classrooms have shown strengths in traditional “school readiness” measures.

Resources

Making the Case for Public Montessori

Does it Work? What the Research Says

Scientific research confirms that Montessori children have an advantage not only academically, but also in social and emotional development.
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What is Montessori?

A one-page overview for stakeholders new to Montessori.
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Ages Three to Six

A one-page overview of Montessori education for early childhood.
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Montessori Elementary

A one-page overview of Montessori education for 1st through 6th grade.
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Frequently Asked Questions

common questions regarding Montessori.
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Getting Started:
Launching a Public Montessori School

Essential Elements for Successful Montessori Schools in the Public School Sector

Essential guidelines for fully implemented, sustainable public Montessori programs.
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Starting a Public Montessori School: A Planning Timeline

a one-page timeline overview.
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Montessori School Design

Prepared Environments for Learning and Living.
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White Papers

NCMPS produces a series of White Papers to provide support for Montessori implementation and program development for use with administrators, policy makers, legislators, and wherever else they can be helpful.

These papers are free to download and use with attribution to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector.

Best Practices

Three-Year Age-Spans in Montessori Classrooms: The Benefits of a Full Upper Elementary cycle

The full 4th-6th grade age grouping maximizes the benefits of Montessori.

The Assistant In A Montessori Classroom

Fully-implemented Montessori requires a lead Montessori trained teacher and an assistant.

Montessori Bilingual Education

Landscape analysis, best practices, and model schools.

English Language Learners and Special Education Students in Montessori Schools: The Case for Push-In Services

Montessori is uniquely situated to support and benefit from a push-in model of special education and ELL instruction.

Childhood Trauma

Case study of a stressful situation and a Montessori response.

Teacher Compensation in Montessori Charter Schools

Appropriate compensation supports staff longevity and full implementation.

Policy Briefs

What is Montessori-Inspired Practice?

While Montessori functions best as a whole, certain elements can be abstracted.

Braided Funding for Fully Implemented Montessori Early Learning

Creative funding strategies for funding three and four-year olds.

0–6 Early Learning Initiative

Montessori aligns well with federal early education priorities.

Head Start, Early Head Start, and Montessori

Strategies and rationale for Montessori implementation in a Head Start and Early Start programs.

Montessori as an Intervention for Children with Dyslexia

Language-rich Montessori environments inherently support decoding, fluency, and reading comprehension.

Research

Growth of Public Montessori in the United States: 1975-2014

The last fifteen years have witnessed a surge of interest in Montessori education. This interest is evident in a rise in research on Montessori, increased mainstream press, and the opening of new Montessori schools.

Reading and Math Achievement for African American Lower Elementary Students in Public Montessori Programs

As Montessori programs in public schools expand, Montessori education is becoming available to a more diverse population of American students than ever before. Students of color have a significant presence in public Montessori schools; over a quarter of students in whole-school public Montessori programs are African American. This study sought to answer the question, how effectively does Montessori instruction promote achievement for African American third grade students in reading and math, compared to similar traditional schools and other public school choice programs?