Research and Resources


Does Montessori work? What does the research say?

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.

Recent research suggests that Montessori education can close so-called “achievement gaps” between socio-economic groups, and two  large-scale national studies are underway to further explore this potential.

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.

A comprehensive survey of scientific research which supports Montessori pedagogy and practice can be found in Dr. Angeline S. Lillard’s Montessori: The Science behind the Genius, 3rd edition.

Research Summaries

Does it Work? What the Research Says
A two-page summary of Montessori outcomes, with citations.

Annotated Bibliography
A selected bibliography of recent research

Annotated Bibliography by claim
Detailed citations for Montessori outcomes

Outcomes, Studies and Findings

Research Resources

University of Kansas Center for Montessori Research

Center for Montessori Studies at the University of Hartford

American Montessori Society Research and 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.


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?