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Effect of a Montessori Education

For the past 40 years, the effects of Montessori Method on children have been well documented and has shown many benefits on the academic and relational skills of children.
 
VERBAL INTELLIGENCE
 
In 1972, Stodolsky and Karlson studied changes in the performance of Montessori children on the Stanford- Binet intelligence test over an eight-month period. They found that all the children in their first year at school normally showed a statistically major expand in the Stanford- Binet IQ from pre-test to post-test. This effect has been replicated in subsequent studies, including Miller and Dyer’s 1975 study, which they’d studied changes on several measures of general verbal intelligence after one year of Montessori preschool (Chattin-McNichols, 1992).

PERCEPTUAL, MOTOR AND PERFORMANCE IQ DEVELOPMENT

These studies have shown great results in favor of a Montessori education. Pendergast (1969) administered a developmental assessment of visual perception twice, to children in a Montessori nursery school, in a conventional nursery school, and to children with no preschool experience. The study was done in order to evaluate hand-eye coordination and visual perception skills. Pendergast found that the Montessori children shown significantly greater gains in hand-eye coordination than those in the other two groups, which are in awareness and position in space skills. The same year, Banta tested children with preschool and primary Montessori school experience against the same groups, with the Montessori children achieving the highest scores. All this evidence proves that the Montessori Method is effective in fostering development in the areas of perceptual, motor, and performance IQ development.

 

ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND SCHOOL READINESS

For over a century many studies have been conducted in the area of Montessori education pertaining to academic attainment and school readiness.  In 1969, Di lorenzo found that children attending a highly structured, cognitively oriented pre-kindergarten programs, in which including one Montessori classroom and was performed better on readiness tests at the end of kindergarten than children in traditional nursery school programs. Children in the cognitive programs also performed better on the same test at the end of first grade. Recently, many studies have confirmed the effectiveness of Montessori Method in increasing academic achievement and school readiness. In Manner’s study (2000), students from an elementary Montessori program were paired with age mates from a traditional group on the basis of similar Stanford Achievement Test Scores in reading or math and retested over the period of three years. When it came to mathematics scores, the Montessori group continued to produce higher means scores than the traditional students did. Reading scores for the groups demonstrated the same results. In the second and third years of the study, Montessori students produced even higher scores consistently outperforming the traditional group.

 

ATTENTION, CONCENTRATION, RESISTANCE TO DISTRACTION AND IMPULSIVENESS

Studies on attention, concentration resistance to distraction, and impulsiveness have also demonstrated the effectiveness of the Montessori Method. Through his study, Kohlberg found that an increased IQ in the children receiving Montessori training, as well as an increased ability to attend and concentrate. Further positive results were found by Berger (1969), in a longitudinal assessment of 93 black and Puerto Rican three- and four year olds enrolled in Head Start Montessori programmers and conventional preschool programs. Berger found that motor impulse control scares consistently favored the Montessori children. These findings suggest that the Montessori preschool experience is effective in decreasing distractibility and impulsivity, and in increasing distractibility children. This increase in attention and concentration may be a major factor accounting for the observed positive effects of Montessori preschool training on performance in intelligence tests of the Stanford-Binet type (Chattin-McNichols, 1992).

 

SELF-ESTEEM AND SOCIAL SKILLS

Montessori Method not only have consistently shown benefits in academic demonstrated by achievement test scores, but also recognizes how this educational philosophy and teaching method has a great impact in self-esteem, self efficacy, prosaically behavior, and aggressive behavior in children. Moreover, Montessori children’s perceived ability to make and keep friends of the same gender was found to significantly improve with increased years in the program, and that perceived ability to work together in a group was found to be positively associated with levels of self- efficacy for academic achievement and self-efficacy for self-regulated learning. While these qualities certainly have educational application, they also have the potential to have a greater and more important impact on the quality of the affected child’s entire life.