The Montessori Difference
As Montessori teachers, working with children day after day, we know that the method works. We see the learning taking place, we document progress and feedback as our pupils grow and continue through their phases of education.
A new systematic review of the effect of a Montessori Education has set out to pinpoint exactly what the ‘Montessori Difference’ is in terms of children’s education and well-being. It is a review of 32 academic studies published between 1967 and 2020 of Montessori-educated students in eight countries. Students included in the studies range in age from preschool to high school and come from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds. Each study included in the review compares Montessori and traditional education. to measure which has better outcomes for pupils, both academically, socially, and emotionally. What did it find? In a nutshell, Montessori education has more meaningful and positive benefits compared to traditional education.
The data show that a Montessori education provides academic benefits, especially in literacy and numeracy learning. Furthermore, that Montessori students demonstrated stronger executive function, including self-control and working memory and reported a more positive school experience. A striking finding is that Montessori students are, on average, a full school year ahead by sixth grade, according to the analysis.
In non-academic measures, Montessori students also excelled; they demonstrated stronger executive function, including self-control and working memory, and reported a more positive school experience overall compared to traditional students.
This is a sound affirmation of our work with children, doing what we love and making a real difference!
Here is what some of the Primary children have to say about their Montessori learning.
I like the library; it is where I get to be calm, and I can enjoy a book. I like being librarian because I get to look at all the other box levels and I get memories of when I read that. I like my Montessori school because I get to be free, and everybody is my friend. (Benjamin, grade 3)
I like the small bead frame because of how it looks, and I like swiping the beads. It teaches me to never ever keep 10 units and you can use it for minus, plus and for working with big numbers. I love Montessori because there’s all different kinds of lovely materials and also you can feel the materials when you are learning which helps you. (Priyanka, grade 1)
My favourite work is the Snake Game because it teaches you multiplication and it makes you clever by learning. I like copying the cards by drawing the pattern with the beads and swapping for a gold snake. I like Montessori because it teaches you so much about math, language and it’s fun and it’s educated. I like the materials and my teachers. (Lavanya, grade 1)
My favourite thing to do at school is the Racks & Tubes. I like the Racks & Tubes because it helps me with large division equations and if I struggle in my workbooks in division, I go to the Racks & Tubes. I like Montessori because they have materials to help me, and I like being able to walk around and I like that we don’t all have to do the same thing at the same time, and I can do my work at a time I like. Kira (grade 3)
My favourite thing to do at school is reading. It teaches me words and it teaches me stories and things from long ago. I like reading in the quiet library. I love being librarian because you have to put the books back in the right box and then get the new one for every child. I like my Montessori school because there are lots of materials and you can choose them yourself. (Noah, grade 1)
I like the bead chain because it teaches me that 6 x 6 x 6 is 216 and it helps me with my 6 times table. It is fun to do because it is so long, and I like it when I can build the cube at the end with all the squares, and I can understand that the 6 cube is made up of 6 squares. I love the sport that we do, especially soccer and hockey. (Thingo, grade 3)
I like Montessori because it is a calm place with fun people. My favourite thing to do in Montessori is math and my favourite material is the Checkerboard because it helps me solve really hard problems. (Noumaan, grade 2)
I love learning and using the materials. I like to do math, like the Dot Board and the Snake Game. I like it because it teaches me how to count and to make bigger numbers from smaller numbers. I like the teachers over here; they are lovely and kind. (Khaira, grade 1)
My favourite work is the Snake Game because you can make a snake with the number beads. You can turn it into a golden snake by changing numbers to 10. I love being in a Montessori school because of all the materials. (Martina, grade 2)
Ocean View Montessori School, September 2023