Does it Work?
Montessori Education is Highly Effective
While research which specifically addresses the effectiveness of specific learning approaches are limited and are difficult to implement, those studies which have examined alternative educational approaches tend to indicate that use of the Montessori materials and guided self discovery results in better outcomes than traditional education systems.
Lillard (2006) in the leading international journal Science, reports that in a range of educational outcomes including reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving, pupils in Montessori schools out-perform pupils in other types of primary school, even when selection to the different school types is via a random lottery.
Lillard, A. S. & Else-Quest, N. Evaluating Montessori education. Science 313, 1893–1894 (2006).
Montessori schooled children, as compared with children in the other two types of school, showed significantly greater gains on measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving.
Lillard, A. S. Preschool children’s development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori, and conventional programs. J. School Psychol. 50, 379–401 (2012).
Montessori-educated children score higher than conventionally-educated children on divergent and integrative thinking tasks.
Besançon, M. & Lubart, T. Differences in the development of creative competencies in children schooled in diverse learning environments. Learn. Ind. Diff. 18, 391–399 (2008).