What Does Research Indicate About Academic Achievement And Emotional Wellbeing Of Montessori Students?

What Does Research Indicate About Academic Achievement And Emotional Wellbeing Of Montessori Students?

Several pedagogical models of early childhood education are practiced in schools within the United States. Providing meaningful and hands-on learning experiences for all students has been a concern long before standardized assessments became the norm. Scholars have extensively researched on effective ways in which children learn, acquire, analyze, and process information.
The constructivist approach to early childhood education is one such philosophical approach, which includes pedagogical models such as Montessori, Waldorf (aka Steiner), and Reggio Emilia. These models emphasize and assess social and emotional skills through observation, as opposed to quantitative standardized tests. As indicated, the Montessori Method is one such example of a constructivist education model, and it has strong research-based evidence to support its effectiveness in academic achievement and overall well-being of children (Dhiksha & Suresh, 2016; Lillard, 2005, 2017; Lillard et al, 2021; Mallett & Schroeder, 2015; Marshall, 2017).

How does the Montessori Method help in the Academic Achievement and Well-being of Children?

More than 100 years of extensive research have demonstrated that the Montessori Method affords children better academic achievement and adult well-being as compared to other traditional or conventional models of education.
Through observation of children over her lifetime, Dr. Maria Montessori developed an understanding of child development and learning processes within children. Through these observations, she prepared an environment with development-based activities for children that promote independent learning. Such an environment not only stimulates the child’s natural development but also develops their problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities. One of the strengths of Montessori education is the child-centered approach in the classrooms. This allows children to learn by doing and become independent learners. This kind of methodology encourages children to master skills and achieve success.
A multitude of educational ideas is used by the Montessori Method, which also offers the foundation to put these ideas into practice. Numerous children have grown into successful, well-adjusted adults through a Montessori education.

Montessori Educational Opportunities and Outcomes

Standardized school assessments seek to quantitatively measure children’s academic achievement. The effectiveness and accuracy of these measures have been contentious and controversial since their inception. Conventional early childhood education programs are generally teacher-directed classrooms, where teachers are “on stage” presenting concepts and information for students to consume and acquire. The exams raised concerns about how to teach students who did not excel in them. However, there are still other methods of setting up the classroom that will allow all students to learn intuitively.
The Montessori method is one of those methods, where the curriculum delivers a quality program that involves the overall development of the child, be it social, emotionalcognitive, or kinaesthetic, and embraces the potential for significantly improving the academic outcomes.
Montessori Educational Opportunities and Outcomes
The first longitudinal study of Montessori education outcomes led by Dr. Angeline Lillard et al., 2017 found that children in Montessori preschools demonstrate better academic performance and social understanding than children participating in a conventional method of education. Another study, conducted by Jane C. Manner (1999), mentions the Stanford Achievement Test whose findings indicates that Montessori students continued to produce higher mean scores in reading and mathematics than did the traditional education students.

Why Montessori Children’s Results are Better When Compared to Conventional Education Methods?

“Montessori education fosters social and academic skills that are equal or superior to those fostered by a pool of other types of schools.” as stated in research by Dr. Angeline Lillard

The Montessori Method has taken a leap to prepare the blending of visual and auditory representations, which is crucial for successful reading. Significant progress has also been made in illuminating the brain mechanisms behind early reading and reading challenges.
To overcome these reading challenges, the Montessori Method of education introduces phonics. It is one of the well-researched and best foundational techniques of language development. Through phonics, it becomes easier for a child to understand and decipher the alphabet-sound code.
The use of phonics helps the children to read with the correct pronunciation of the letters, digraphs, blends, and phonemes. An article by Chloë Marshall states, “in the Montessori method, the letter-sound relationships are taught in an organized sequence, rather than being taught on an ad hoc as-and-when-needed basis (2017). The article also states thatthe core of the Montessori curriculum is clear instruction of phonics within a rich language context, both spoken and written. The children are taught the sound-letter code before using it to encode words (in spelling) and decode them (in reading).
In addition to phonics and language acquisition, mathematics is also a strength of Montessori education. Montessori materials help children to understand math concepts in a more tangible manner. Developmental progression is used to ensure that math instructions are built on the learning capabilities of each individual child.
For instance, to introduce complex topics like combining and sorting of shapes, the child is first acquainted with Montessori sensorial materials like constructive triangles or geometric solids, or geometric cabinets. Activities with these resource materials help children recognize, name, and compare shapes effortlessly.
geometric solids
Similarly, to let the child comprehend mathematical concepts like addition and subtraction, materials like number rods, cards, counters, and spindle boxes are available in Montessori classrooms. Along with the sensorial materials, practical life activities like cutting fruits, folding clothes, and more such tasks are used in the Montessori classroom to introduce mathematical concepts like that of fractions.
The same thing is mentioned in research by Chloë Marshall. Marshall (2017) indicates that the use of practical life materials in Montessori classrooms to support the development of fine motor skills is a dynamic approach. The Montessori approach to reading using phonics, embedded in a rich language context, and giving math instruction a sensorial foundation are effective approaches to make a child enjoy learning which is not often present in conventional classrooms.

Mention of Academic Achievements of Montessori Children in a Research

The longitudinal study by Dr. Angeline S. Lillard and colleagues (Lillard et al., 2017) also states that an educational method that focuses on the overall development of the child rather than grades produces responsible, creative, and mature adults.
Across a range of abilities, children at Montessori schools outperformed the children in traditional education. Some of the differences that the team noticed through their research included:

  • The children of Montessori schooling were significantly more creative and sophisticated.
  • There was a  significant difference with regard to the social and emotional behavior of the children of the same age groups.
  • Children who attended Montessori schools demonstrated a sense of being reasonable, honest, and justified during interactions. They had a more emotionally positive approach.
  • Montessori-educated children performed better in reading, spelling, grammar, and punctuation when compared to those who participated in conventional education.

Montessori education keeps children at the center of learning (student-centered learning). These unique points help Montessori students to perform well and demonstrate a mastery of various subject matters. To learn about Montessori education and how it differs from conventional education, please read our blog on this topic.

How does Montessori Education helps in the Socio-Emotional Wellbeing Of children?

We have so far explained the academic achievement of Montessori children and how it benefits the child’s development. It is interesting to know that the Montessori Method of education not only focuses on academics, but also on the social and emotional well-being of children.
The Montessori education model allows children to learn at their own pace. It focuses on educating the child as a whole. This gives children the freedom to gradually develop and master new skills and strengths, which in turn promotes personal independence, self-discipline, and better emotional stability. It also fosters interactions between the child with peers and the environment along with the development of democratic attitudes and values among people.
The children in the Montessori model perceived the positive impact of collaboration and group work, and this is found to be positively associated with heightened levels of self-efficacy and better emotional development as stated in a research by Dhiksha. J and Suresh A.  The Montessori method of learning is based on experimental and exploring concepts. Self-correction and self-assessment are integral parts of the daily routine in Montessori classrooms. Hence, the students are open to criticism and corrections as they learn through errors. This teaches the children a lifelong practical lesson.
The research reveals that children who have high self-esteem, better social-emotional stability, and the capacity to interact well among people, are found to be more likable and attractive. They make better impressions on others.
In the Montessori Method, each child is considered unique and is given enough space to unleash the total potential of the child. It encourages independent learning, active exploration, and choice-making to enhance a child’s intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development.

Final Words

The Montessori Method of education is a pedagogical model that has been researched extensively and meticulously for more than a century. The above-mentioned evidence from rigorous studies regarding Montessori education is almost exclusively positive regarding the academic achievement of children. These studies have logically compared Montessori to other models of education.
These studies have also mentioned about the benefits of uninterrupted work periods in Montessori education that enhance the focus, attentiveness, discipline, and social and emotional skills in the children. Together, it provides better academic achievements and the well-being of children.


  • Dhiksha, J., & Suresh, A. (2016). Self-esteem and academic anxiety of high school students with Montessori and traditional methods of education. Indian Journal of Health and Wellbeing, 7(5), 543–545.
  • Lillard, A. S. (2005). Montessori: The science behind the genius (1st ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Lillard, A. S. (2017). Montessori: The science behind the genius (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Lillard, A. S., Heise, M. J., Richey, E. M., Tong, X., Hart, A., & Bray, P. M. (2017). Montessori preschool elevates and equalizes child outcomes: A longitudinal study. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article 1783. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01783
  • Lillard, A. S., Meyer, M. J., Vasc, D., & Fukuda, E. (2021). An association between Montessori education in childhood and adult wellbeing. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, Article 721943. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.721943
  • Mallett, J. D., & Schroeder, J. L. (2015). Academic achievement outcomes: A comparison of Montessori and non-Montessori public elementary school students. Journal of Elementary Education, 25(1), 39-53. http://pu.edu.pk/images/journal/JEE/PDF-Files/3_v25_no1_15.pdf
  • Manner, J. C. (1999). A Comparison of Academic Achievement of Montessori and Non-Montessori Students in a Public School Setting [Doctoral Dissertation (Ed.D.), Florida International University]. https://digitalcommons.fiu.edu/dissertations/AAI9946898/
  • Marshall, C. (2017). Montessori education: a review of the evidence base. NPJ Science of Learning, 2(1), Article 11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41539-017-0012-7
  • Salazar, M. M. (2013). The impact of Montessori teaching on academic achievement of elementary school students in a central Texas school district: A causal-comparative inquiry [Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University]. http://hdl.handle.net/1969.6/515

How to Apply Montessori Principles While Setting Up Home Library for Children?

How to Apply Montessori Principles While Setting Up Home Library for Children?

Reading is an essential skill in everyone’s life. Not a single day or hour goes by when we are not reading something. It is also a factor that leads to the development of a country. For children, reading a book is actually a wealth of knowledge as they learn and explore the world around them. It is for this reason that books are such a prized resource in Montessori classrooms. Children need more exposure to books, even at home.

Many studies show that children with reading habits are more likely to develop lifelong literacy skills. One such study indicates that “reading books to very young children indeed contributes meaningfully to a favorable home literacy environment and supports children’s language development” (Nikal et al, 2016). Another research discusses that children’s engagement in recreational reading beyond independent skill acquisition is beneficial for continued literacy development (Merga and Mat Roni, 2018).

Children’s exposure to books is therefore an essential part of long-term cognitive development. Children also have greater reading rates, math skills, and higher intelligence. Just as we prepare our home for activities such as dressing, cooking, and sleeping, it is important for us to prepare the home environment for reading. Here are some recommendations for creating an enticing reading environment at home.

How to Set up a Reading Environment for Children in a Montessori Style?

The setup of a Montessori-inspired at-home library is neither difficult nor needs a large space, nor does it require major investment. Make sure your child’s home library follows the principles of a Prepared Environment.

Setting up a reading space helps children to sit down and concentrate on reading the book of their choice. Follow the 5 steps to set up an enticing reading environment at home:

    1. Child-accessible shelves: Similar to the Montessori environment, reading area shelves need to be easily accessible to the child. There are many variations of the bookshelves present in the market, but setting up a forward-facing bookshelf is the best as it allows children to choose the books to read and put them away back independently. Tip: The shelf doesn’t need to be expensive or large. It can be wooden shelves or wooden crates or wicker baskets. The idea is to make the books accessible to the child.Child-accessible shelves
    2. Choosing the right books: Purchasing books should not be expensive too. Around 8-10 age-appropriate books are enough to keep on a bookshelf. For toddlers, books with a lot of illustrations and less text are good. For primary children, stories, grace, and courtesy books, books with counting and patterns, and more can be kept. As the child grows, you can provide more advanced books to help them with their exploration. Tip: You can start by adding books that interest children. Or Add books related to holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This way, it is easy to catch the interest of children and build a lifelong love for reading.Choosing the right books
    3. Cozy seating area: Not only books and bookshelves, but the reading area should be cozy and inviting. Therefore, the next step is to make an enticing reading space by adding comfortable seating. Again, this need not be expensive; you can simply place a rug near the bookshelf or can create a reading corner with a comfortable chair or couch. The idea behind the dedicated reading area as it reduces the surrounding disturbance. It also helps children build interest and concentrate on what they are reading. Tip: If you have a smaller space, you can set up the bookshelf closer to the living room sofa. This helps in providing children with a comfortable space to read.
    4. Visual appeal: The child’s reading space should be visually appealing. Like Montessori classrooms, the environment should be calm, with neutral-colored walls. You can add a lamp, plants, motivational quotes, and pictures. These little details create a serene atmosphere that builds a child’s interest and attention. Tip: You can also set up the Montessori-inspired library next to the activity shelf, just in case the child wants to research the topic or problem.
    5. Calm environment and neutral colors: Montessori classrooms are based on the idea that the environment should not overwhelm children and create fewer distractions. Therefore, a children’s at-home library should be set up somewhere away from daily commotion. Avoid brightly colored walls, charts and paintings, and other distractions, so that children can concentrate and instill the habit of reading. Tip: To set up a Montessori-inspired room at home, read our blog here.

Bottom Line

Montessori education is based on the idea that children should be free to explore and learn at their own pace. This means they are given the freedom to choose when, where, and how they learn. And a Montessori-inspired library at home is a great way to introduce children to the joy of reading. It is a new world for children to read, explore and learn. So let’s create a place at home where your child can focus on their interests and learn to be creative.


12 Select Principles of Montessori Education

Montessori principles

The Montessori method of education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori through an iterative process of experimentation and observation. The principles of her method are based on the idea that children can learn through self-directed exploration.

The Montessori method emphasizes the importance of a child’s social and emotional development, independence, creativity, and freedom within an educational environment. Let us learn about 12 select principles of Montessori education.

Principle #1: Respect for the Child

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that every child is unique. Some children work best with more freedom, some need to be told what to do, and some may not respond well to any form of control. Therefore, Montessori schools are rooted in a deep respect for the uniqueness of every child. Children have the freedom to choose, make mistakes, and learn at their own pace.

Principle #2: Children have an “Absorbent Mind”

Through years of observation and research, Dr. Maria Montessori determined that early age development (0 to 6 years) is crucial as a child learns by observation. She termed this stage of development as the “absorbent mind” because during this stage a child has a sponge-like capacity to absorb information from their environment.

“At some given moment, it happens that the child becomes deeply interested in a piece of work; we see it in the expression on his face, his intense concentration, the devotion to the exercise.” — Dr. Maria Montessori in The Discovery of the Child.

Children can use their own judgment and work in a self-directed manner, which is what allows them to grow into independent thinkers. Thus, it is important to develop a sense of their culture and lay the foundations of their learning, intelligence, and personality.

Principle #3: Sensitive Periods

Dr. Maria Montessori observed a child passes through a phase of development to learn specific skills and knowledge areas. She termed this phase as a sensitive period (a phase of development in which children are highly motivated to learn). Sensitive periods are characterized by intensity, repetition, and commitment.

Principle #4: Educating the Whole Child

‘Educating the Whole Child‘ refers to the process of educating all the child’s senses in order to build awareness and understanding.

The Montessori method of education therefore focuses on nurturing each child’s potential by providing a developmentally appropriate learning environment that supports their intellectual, physical, emotional, and social growth.

The school environment is designed with children in mind, so it has many different stimuli for them to learn from. The Montessori curriculum covers all aspects of development, such as practical life, sensorial, cultural, language, mathematics, geography, and science.

Principle #5: Focus on Individualized Learning

Montessori education places an emphasis on the idea that children are capable of handling their own learning. Therefore, the Montessori school places children with peers of varying ages, abilities, development needs, and levels of achievement in a common classroom.

“The fundamental help in development, especially with little children of 3 years of age, is not to interfere. Interference stops the activity and stops concentration.” — Dr. Maria Montessori in The Child, Society, and the World: Unpublished Speeches and Writings.

Children are encouraged to carry out activities based on their individual developmental needs, while educators keep track of their progress based on observation. Thus, making learning active, individualized, self-correcting, and tailored to the needs and interests of each individual child.

12 key principles of Montessori education

Principle #6: Freedom of Movement and Choice

The Montessori method of education is based on the belief that children are capable of self-learning and should be given the opportunity to develop their intellectual, physical, social, and emotional capacities through self-directed exploration.

In Montessori learning environments, children are free to move around at will and choose from a variety of activities, while educators act as facilitators in the background, providing guidance when necessary. The curriculum is planned in advance and is prepared so that children can learn best and discover learning outcomes through hands-on experience.

Principle #7: Prepared Environment

Maria Montessori observed that children learn better in an environment that is organized to support their learning and interests. This was termed a prepared environment.

“Children acquire knowledge through experience in the environment.” — Dr. Maria Montessori in The 1946 London Lectures.

In a prepared environment, children are free to follow their interests, choose their work, and progress at their own pace within this space.

Principle #8: Promotes Intrinsic Motivation

The Montessori classroom is prepared in such a way that promotes intrinsic motivation and self-regulation. Children are given the freedom to progress at their own pace, which creates a sense of autonomy by providing them with the opportunity to follow their interests.

Intrinsic motivation is the desire to learn within each child and themselves. It is an individual and individualistic type of motivation.

There are no gold stars or extrinsic rewards for children’s learning in a Montessori classroom. Completing an activity and learning how to do it themselves gives children a sense of accomplishment, an intrinsic reward.

Principle #9: Child Independence

The Montessori classroom promotes independence through a hands-on approach. Children are encouraged to work individually and in groups. It allows them to develop self-regulation and leadership skills.

“The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him. We have to help the child to act, will, and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practiced to perfection only when working among children.” – Dr. Maria Montessori in The Absorbent Mind.

Montessori classrooms are designed intending to carry out the three guiding principles of development: sensorial, intellectual, and moral development. It helps children to see, hear and touch everything of their interest in the room. The three-tier system of essential equipment (i.e., all materials necessary for a particular stage of learning) allows Montessori classrooms to be self-contained and prepared for any type of opportunity, while also using less space.

The Montessori curriculum is based on the idea that children are born with a natural curiosity and a love for learning. Each child’s interests should be respected and encouraged to explore independently.

Principle #10: Auto-Education

In the Montessori Method, auto-education is one of the foundational principles.

“A child who has become master of his acts through long and repeated exercises, and who has been encouraged by the pleasant and interesting activities in which he has been engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline.” — Dr. Maria Montessori in The Discovery of the Child

This approach is based on the belief that children are capable and willing to learn if given the right learning opportunities and experiences. To meet the development needs of the children so that they can learn by exploration, Montessori classrooms, and materials were also developed. Montessori educators observe a child’s progress and provide them with a prepared environment, guidance, and encouragement to auto-educate themselves.

Principle #11: Work Periods

A work period is a time during which children are engaged in some form of activity. During their classroom lessons, Montessori schools emphasize uninterrupted work periods so that they can concentrate on a single subject. They do not have a set number of work periods each day, but have a set length for each work period. Depending on the age and learning ability of the child, the work period can last from 20 minutes to 3 hours. As a result, the children can concentrate on what they are learning and enjoy it more.

Principle #12: Role of Montessori Guides

Montessori teachers are known as guides or, more generally, as educators. Guides encourage Children to take responsibility for their own learning by providing an environment where they can explore, test, experiment, and make mistakes. Their role is to observe and guide children through self-directed, self-paced, and self-guided activities.


8 Misconceptions About Montessori Education

montessori criticism

Even though Montessori education has been in existence for over 100 years, it is still a very misunderstood method of instruction. According to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector (NCMPS), there are approximately 20,000 Montessori schools worldwide. The USA Montessori Census has so far attracted over 2,700 Montessori schools.

This implies that, while most people have heard of the Montessori approach, they might not have been in direct touch with students or parents who have attended a Montessori school. This has given rise to several misconceptions concerning this early childhood education model.

The misconceptions and skepticism individuals have about Montessori philosophy are largely caused by a few of these fallacies. When comparing diverse educational philosophies, it’s critical to weed out misinformation and base conclusions on truthful information.

Today we’re going to take a look at several criticisms/myths and then let you in on the reality regarding Montessori education. Let’s start with the one that gets our goat more than any other… I bet you can guess why it does!

Criticism #1: Montessori Classrooms are Chaotic

Montessori education is a child-centered approach to learning where independence and freedom without limitations are encouraged. For an outsider, the Montessori classroom appears chaotic, as children sit everywhere and work. However, the educators have carefully constructed this atmosphere depending on the children’s developmental needs. Children are free to move and explore, but only within the boundaries established by the educators. The idea behind this is, that when children are allowed the freedom and independence to discover what interests them, they are more motivated to learn and concentrate. This setting reinforces the fundamental Montessori idea of freedom within boundaries.

montessori myths

Criticism #2: No Curriculum to Follow

It is believed that the same fundamental skills are taught in Montessori schools with a demanding academic curriculum. According to statistics, children who receive a Montessori education frequently outperform their traditional school peers in terms of academic achievement. The Montessori method recognizes that, when complicated concepts are presented practically, children can understand them. Additionally, Montessori students are free to study subjects that interest them personally, which increases motivation.

Criticism #3: The Montessori Method is only for Preschoolers

Montessori approaches are entirely focused on the child. As a result, they are successful with all children and would benefit both self-learners and children with learning impairments. These strategies do not differentiate children depending on their learning capacities. Montessori schools, in reality, are beneficial to a wide range of learners. Montessori education is intended to reach all types of learners, including visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners. Furthermore, when working with small groups, Montessori educators are able to identify each learner’s particular strengths and shortcomings.

Criticism #4: There are no Rules in a Montessori Classroom

It is said that there are no rules that are followed in a Montessori classroom. Contrarily, because they are accustomed to independence within boundaries, Montessori students exhibit more self-discipline than students who attend traditional schools. They consequently become automatically geared to act more disciplined. Since children comprehend the repercussions and are aware of the situations that need to be avoided, this discipline is instilled in them without the use of sticks or punishments.

montessori myths

Criticism #5: Montessori Students are Unprepared for “Real School”

While a typical school will undoubtedly be different for a child trained in the Montessori Method, their previous experience will have properly prepared them for the transition. Montessori education prepares children to be independent thinkers with strong social skills, attention, and an innate love of learning! According to studies, children who got an early Montessori education outperformed their peers in math, reading, social development, and executive function.

Criticism #6: Montessori Classrooms are Just Fun and Games

Children from three to six years old do not discriminate between work and play. Their play is their work in the Montessori classroom. They have fun and communicate with others. Curriculums in art, music, and theatre allow for creative play in the Montessori classroom. They learn many skills that are not learned in a traditional classroom, such as food preparation, laundry, art and craft, and many more.

montessori misconceptions

Criticism #7: Children Do not Receive Grades or Take Tests

If you ask a random person what they know about Montessori education, you could hear that Montessori schools “don’t do tests” or “don’t grade anything.” While Montessori education does not emphasize test-taking in the same manner that many current educational frameworks do, this does not imply that Montessori students are inexperienced with testing or perform poorly on standardized tests. In reality, the research shows the exact opposite. They believe in improving skills that are required to learn a particular topic, and once the skill has been learned, they move on to a new topic. In other words, they believe in learning through experience and practice.

Criticism #8: Montessori Education is Expensive

When compared to free public education, any paid childcare may appear expensive. However, because we only have children who are infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, the only true comparison is paid daycare versus paid Montessori. When you compare these two prices, the difference isn’t that significant.

Some parents who pay for Montessori daycare or preschool send their children to public school. These are the parents who recognize that if their child is going to be in daycare during the day (and if they are going to pay for childcare nonetheless), they may as well benefit from what the Montessori technique can provide for their children.

montessori misconceptions

Closing Thought

The Montessori technique is quite complex, with many moving elements, which might lead to confusion among prospective families. Each classroom’s curriculum, as well as the planning of each school day for each child, is meticulously planned. Montessori education has picked up some perplexing myths over the years. With such a long and well-documented history as an educational concept, some misconception is unavoidable.

For more Montessori-related study material, Visit our website.

8 Ways in Which Montessori Education Can Help Your Child Succeed

benefits of montessori education

Montessori education is an educational model that follows the principles established by Maria Montessori. It is a child-centered approach to education, and the methods used in Montessori education focus on nurturing children’s natural abilities and talents in an environment that encourages independence and self-directed learning. But how does Montessori education help in a child’s development?

In this article, we will talk about the fundamentals of Montessori education and its benefits, starting with outlining what it is.

What is Montessori Education?

Montessori education was introduced in 1907 by Dr. Maria Montessori, a famous Italian physician, and educator. It is a teaching and learning method that is meant to be set up in a school setting, but elements of it can also be adapted/adopted in the home.

Montessori education is a method of teaching children to develop or achieve their potential. It assumes that children are curious by nature about their surroundings and can be educated in an environment that encourages this curiosity.

The materials and activities in Montessori classrooms are designed for children to explore and learn through hands-on activities.

Teachers are called educators/guides at Montessori schools. They do not instruct a child based on the curriculum but guide and inspire them in their exploration and discovery. They provide an age-appropriate environment, learning materials, and guidance to boost their overall development.

 “The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.” — Maria Montessori (in The Absorbent Mind)

This philosophy makes the Montessori method different from traditional education methods. It allows children to learn by doing and observing, which helps them develop skills such as concentration, self-discipline, and independence.

What are the 5 Key Principles of the Montessori Method?

According to the Montessori approach to education, children are the focus of the environment and activities. This encourages children to learn subjects through natural curiosity and exploration, not by the rote curriculum.

Children learn through concrete experiences, and exploration with materials directly related to their interests. They believe that all children possess innate intelligence, and the job of educators is to support it and foster its development.

Montessori education is based on 5 general principles:

1. Respect for the Child’s Need

The Montessori method is based on the principle of respect for every human being. Respect is given by allowing children to make their own choices, learn by doing, and learn for themselves. It promotes child-led learning. Conflicts are resolved peacefully and observed without judgment.

2. The Absorbent Mind 

Montessori education is based on the principle that children are constantly learning from the world around them through their senses. They then make sense of it because they are the best explorers in the world. Children can develop strong neural connections through their senses, laying the foundation for future memories and knowledge.

3. Sensitive Periods

Montessori pedagogy believes that certain skills are most easily learned during specific periods of time (specific ages). This period is known as a sensitive period. A child goes through eleven sensitive periods between birth and 6 years. It includes order, movement, grace and courtesy, small objects, refinement of the senses, music, writing, reading, language, spatial relationships, and mathematics. A sensitive period lasts until a child gains a particular skill. The order in which sensitive periods occur and their timings vary from child to child. Educators and parents must identify such periods by observation. Based on the observation, a learning path must be prepared to enhance those skills.

4. Children must learn to learn

A core notion of Montessori education is that a child does not know how to learn from birth. In other words, they must follow the path of self-directed learning: pay attention, remember information, think independently, and act on their own initiative.

Montessori education philosophy asserts that a child can learn by themselves or by doing. This type of learning is known as auto-education or self-education. In Montessori education, the role of an educator is to help provide the environment, inspiration, guidance, and encouragement for children to explore and self-educate.

benefits of montessori education

5. The Prepared Environment

In a Montessori school, children are provided with a classroom environment that has been “prepared” to help them learn through discovery. This is referred to as a “prepared environment.”

“The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.” – Maria Montessori (in The Secret of Childhood)

The environment is always child-centered. It should promote freedom for children to explore materials of their choice. Educators should prepare the learning environment by making materials and experiences available to children in an orderly and independent manner. While designing the curriculum, these 5 principles are kept in mind. Let us now understand the Montessori benefits.

montessori benefits


Benefits of Montessori Education to Help Your Child Succeed

Montessori education provides a holistic approach to learning and development. It offers many benefits, but here are seven ways in which it can help your child succeed:

    1. Promotes academic success: It provides children with opportunities for meaningful interactions by using a variety of materials (a true hands-on experience). Resulting in overall learning and academic success.
    2. Promotes social and emotional development: It provides children ample opportunity to practice various skills that promote interpersonal understanding, respectful relationships, and emotional regulation. It encourages them to work and grow with others in a community setting.
    3. Fosters independence, creativity, and self-control: It helps a child perform an activity/task independently and learn through discovery. Other children do not interrupt the one performing the task. They can stand and observe the child performing the task. They do not even pass any judgment on what is right or wrong.
    4. Fosters compassion and empathy: Montessori education teaches a child a sense of kindness and empathy. It is an approach to learning that emphasizes respect for the child and an understanding of their world. The educator takes a natural approach to teaching, which includes fostering emotional growth, compassion, and empathy in children.
    5. Fosters self-discipline: Montessori education instills the idea that children should be independent, self-directed, and self-controlled. It instills the idea that children should be independent, self-directed, and self-controlled. It promotes the idea that children should take responsibility for their actions.
    6. Promotes and supports a healthy lifestyle: Montessori schools are known for their highly individualized education. In a Montessori school, children are encouraged to pursue interests in many areas, including art, music, and science. Children here learn to eat, cook, do daily chores, read, learn, and make healthy choices, as it emphasizes a child’s sense of wonderment. It develops perseverance, courage, and resilience in children by developing both physical and mental strength.
    7. Develop curiosity, decision-making, and problem-solving skills: Montessori education enhances a child’s natural curiosity and allows them to discover the world around them without being overwhelmed.
    8. Develop executive function: Montessori education promotes the development of executive skills (a set of mental skills that includes working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control) that further help them every day to learn, work, and manage daily life.

Final Takeaway:

The Montessori approach not only boosts a child’s developmental growth but also encourages their natural curiosity. It provides varied activities that lay the foundation for lifelong learning. It is one of the most beneficial methods for teaching children of all ages.