Members of the American Montessori Society’s Research Committee, myself included, were excited to learn of the results of a South Carolina longitudinal evaluation of Montessori students’ performance in public schools as compared to traditional public-school students’ performance. The over seven thousand students included in the 3-year study were matched with other demographics for public school students across the state. School principals, teachers and students were interviewed during the study and more than 120 classrooms were analyzed.
There were two main questions. The first was whether the students, from public Montessori schools that serve large numbers of low-income and minority students in rural and poverty-stricken areas could perform well in school. Secondly, was the cost of supplying Montessori trained teachers and Montessori materials worth the investment?
The results were extremely positive. Most Montessori students met or exceeded state performance benchmarks in language arts, math, science, and social studies. The Montessori schools had higher attendance records and lower discipline rates than other public schools. In addition, a majority of Montessori teachers reported that they loved their jobs and planned on remaining in the profession.
Currently, there are more than 500 public Montessori schools nationwide. Many have opened in the past 15 years. This is the first study that has shown the evidence of the effectiveness of the Montessori model which includes student-centered learning and multi-age students in the classroom (usually a 3-year range).
For more information about results or study methodology, please contact Dr. Brooke Culclasure, Principal Investigator at firstname.lastname@example.org.