People ask me all of the time – and I mean ALL. THE. TIME. Why Montessori? How come you feel so strongly that the learning outcomes of a Montessori education is better for your child? Truth be told, the first person who asked me that question was my husband. Our neighborhood preschool was right on his way to work and several of his co-workers sent their children there. Did I really think the academic outcomes would be that different? Especially considering the difference in cost?
I really did. And I still do, almost 3 years later. Fortunately, my instincts were supported not only by the parents I had spoken to, but compelling research from all different corners of the world about the Montessori method. One study relatively close to home was a longitudinal study on Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program in the Milwaukee schools.
There are several positive academic pay offs to a Montessori education. In the Milwaukee study, students who had participated in a Montessori program significantly outperformed the Peer Control group on Math/Science scores. One of the conclusions they drew:
Attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of 3 to 11 predicts significantly higher math and science standardized test scores in high school.
Following these same students into high school, it was found that Montessori-educated students typically had higher GPAs (2.72 average compared to 2.59) than the Peer Control group and also outperformed their public school counterparts on the ACT and WKCE tests.
But it’s not just academics that excel for Montessori educated students. Other studies have focused on the improved social skills and interactions of Montessori students. In the article Evaluating Montessori Education, the authors point out that Montessori students engaged more positively with peers on the playground, showed better self-control, and had advanced social cognition. Because the Montessori curriculum explicitly includes a social consciousness factor, school is not only a place to enhance a students’ mind, but their character as well.
Further, students educated in a Montessori setting wrote more creative stories, chose more positive solutions for social dilemmas, and reported feeling a higher sense of community at their school. Those are the outcomes I wanted for my child. If they appeal to you, too, stop by WBMS for a visit. You will be glad you did.