The Montessori method is based on scientifically validated principles of child development refined by more than 100 years of putting those principles into practice.
Children learn willingly and joyfully when their intrinsic needs are met. The Montessori method is based explicitly on meeting a child's developmental needs. Montessori teachers do not need to rely on coercion and compulsion to 'make' children learn.
Maitri Learning provides an exhaustive list of research for every age, for student populations ranging from low-income to deaf students, and even for the effectiveness of specific Montessori materials.
MIR highly recommends Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius, Third Edition by Angeline Lillard (2016, Oxford University Press). The book offers a thorough compilation of the scientific research into Montessori. It also looks at the distinctions between practices in standard education, pure "discovery learning" environments, authentic Montessori, and non-authentic Montessori education.
Evidence Brief – Ideal Learning Environments for Young Children provides a science-based description of what makes an ideal learning environment for young children. Montessori environments meet these criteria.
Additional studies we like to highlight include:
Does it work? What the Research Says. (National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector, 2016). This version provides an annotated bibliography of the research.
Math achievement outcomes associated with Montessori education. (Early Child Development and Care, 1-12, Winter 2021)
Beyond executive functions, creativity skills benefit academic outcomes: Insights from Montessori education. (PLOS One, November 2019)
An Association Between Montessori Education in Childhood and Adult Wellbeing. (Frontiers in Psychology, 5351, January 2020)
The Evidence Base for Improving School Outcomes by Addressing the Whole Child and by Addressing Skills and Attitudes, Not Just Content. (Early Education and Development, 2: 780-793, September 2010)
Preschool Children's Development in Classic Montessori, Supplemented Montessori, and Conventional Programs. (Journal of School Psychology 50:379-401, June 2012)
Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study. (Frontiers in Psychology, October 2017)
Authentic Montessori education is based on the principles and practices set forth by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Maria Montessori founded AMI to maintain the integrity of her work and ensure rigorous teacher training.
MIR Head of School Jenny Davidson is on the AMI governing board, and MIR teachers hold AMI diplomas for their age groups.
The name "Montessori" is not trademarked or copyrighted. Therefore, any school can call itself "Montessori" without adhering to the Montessori method of education outlined by AMI.
Before deciding on a school for your child, we strongly recommend observing at the school and in the classroom to get a good sense of whether it is the right fit for your family.
Most Montessori schools, including MIR, are independent and not affiliated with each other. You'll want to tour each school you are interested in individually to evaluate them for your family.