What are the Benefits of a Montessori Education?

John Chattin-McNichols, author of the Effects of the Montessori School Experience gives the following reasons:

  • Montessori children are rated significantly superior on interest in learning, independence, interpersonal relations, leadership, and learning ability.
  • Montessori programs are rated as the most effective in producing long-term school success.
  • Montessori children continue to maintain statistically higher levels in reading and math.
  • The Montessori method performs better than other programs studied in the development of attention strategies, general intelligence, achievement in academic area, and especially in maintaining these skills.

In 2006, Dr. Angeline Lillard (UVA) and her colleagues conducted a study of Montessori and non-Montessori students in two age groups: five-year-olds and twelve-year-olds. The results of this study indicated that the kindergarten-aged Montessori children tested higher in both math and reading than the public school children, using the Woodcock-Johnson Test Battery. The Montessori students also displayed more advanced social cognition and executive control, and demonstrated a greater concern over concepts of fairness and justice. The older group of Montessori children evinced a stronger feeling of community in their school than their public school counterparts and tested higher in math and writing skills.

The importance of early education and understanding sensitive periods in child development:

Maria Montessori not only established a unique teaching method but she created a specific learning environment that catered to the inner needs of the child. Everything in a Montessori classroom is driven by purpose, theory, and philosophy. There are several key ingredients that make the environment successful, but one of the main reasons is that the classroom and work fulfill a biologically and developmental need for the children.

This need is referred to as a “sensitive period,” which was coined by Hugo DeVries, a Dutch biologist, and later adopted by Montessori. Montessori identified that these sensitive periods occur between the ages of birth to age six and are often fleeting. During this time a child experiences an intrinsic need for both external and internal stimuli. Some of the most notable sensitive periods are the need for order, refinement of senses, and the need for movement. When these periods are completely embraced and supported the outcome can be transformative to the child’s learning process.

Here are just a few of the many influential people who attended Montessori school:

  • Larry Page, Co-founder of Google
  • Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
  • Jimmy Donal Wales, Co-founder and Promoter of Wikipedia
  • Katherine Graham, Owner/Editor of The Washington Post
  • Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis, Editor, Former First Lady
  • Anne Frank, Author of The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Prince William and Prince Harry, English royal family
  • Julia Child, Chef, author and star of many TV cooking shows