Why Montessori?

Why Montessori?

Does it work?

If you’ve ever wondered, “Why Montessori?”, here’s your answer.  Research shows that Montessori education is effective across intellectual, social-emotional, and developmental areas. A brief summary of some of this research can be found here.


How does it compare to conventional schooling?

Montessori is a hands-on approach to learning. It encourages children to develop their observation skills through activities that use the five senses, kinetic movement, spatial refinement, small and gross motor skill coordination, and concrete knowledge that leads to later abstraction.

A 2006 study published in the journal Science (“The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education,” by Lillard and Else-Quest) concluded that Montessori students performed better than those who attended conventional schools — not only in traditional academic areas such as language and math, but also in social skills. They performed better on standardized tests of reading and math, engaged more in positive interaction on the playground, and showed advanced social cognition and executive control. They also showed more concern for fairness and justice.

At the end of elementary school, Montessori children wrote more creative essays with more complex sentence structures, selected more positive responses to social dilemmas, and reported feeling a better sense of community at their school.

Are there long-term positive effects?

The Montessori Method prides itself on serving the “whole child,” meaning education extends beyond just the academic realm. A recent longitudinal study found that the effects of this approach are felt well into adulthood: Montessori education as a child has been associated with general well-being as an adult, including happiness, meaning, sense of community, seeking challenges, etc. Read more here.

An infamous Wall Street Journal article in 2011 refers to “The Montessori Mafia,” outlining a list of high-profile creative individuals including the founders of Google and Wikipedia and even chef Julia Child who attended Montessori schools as children. The article can be found here:  Click here to read an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Montessori Mafia.”

Videos on the Montessori Philosophy

This short video provides an excellent perspective provided by one parent on the benefits of a Montessori education. It addresses, for the most part, Montessori education through grade 6. The Montessori secondary program (grades 7–12), although still conducted according to the same methodology, expands beyond the elementary to accommodate the needs of the adolescent.

Why wait for Superman? The Madmen are pleased to announce a new Montessori video, by one of its members.


About the Name "Montessori"

The name “Montessori” is in the public domain. Anyone can use it and claim to be a “Montessori School.” That’s why we encourage you to do your homework before you enroll your child anywhere.

  • Visit the school.
  • Ask your friends who have recent experience with the school.
  • Contact the agency responsible for overseeing the school (for example, the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools or the Arizona Department of Health Services, etc.).
  • Check the staff’s credentials, training, and experience.
  • Choose the school with a history of success with alumni that possess the qualities you most want for your child.