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.
Click here to read an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Montessori Mafia.”