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Journal Articles

The American Montessori Society publishes the results of significant Montessori research, and the AMS Research Committee monitors Montessori studies published in other scholarly journals. Recommended articles (or information about how to obtain them) are available through the links below.

Literature Reviews

Bagby, J. H. and Renbarger, R (2018). “Literature Review, 2014 – 2017 (Part 1).” Montessori Life, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 48 – 53.

Marshall, C., (2017) “Montessori education: A review of the evidence base.” npj Science of Learning, 11(2017).

Bagby, J. H., Wells, K., Edmondson, K., and Thompson, L. (2014). “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2010 – 2013.” Montessori Life, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 32 – 41.

Bagby, J. H. and Jones, N. (2010). “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2007 – 2009.” Montessori Life, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 44 – 48.

Bagby, J. H. (2007).Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 1996 – 2006.” Montessori Life, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 72 – 79.

Other Articles

Biswas-Diener, R. (2011).Manipulating Happiness: Maria Montessori.” International Journal of Wellbeing, 1(2), pp. 214 – 225.

Brown, Katie, and Lewis, Chance W. (2017). “A Comparison of Reading and Math Achievement for African American Third Grade Students in Montessori and Other Magnet Schools.” The Journal of Negro Education, 86(4), 439-448.

Montessori programs are expanding in public schools, serving a large proportion of African American students (Debs, 2015). Although recent Montessori research has focused on diverse public school populations, few studies have examined outcomes for African American students at the lower elementary level. This quasi-experimental study compares reading and math achievement for African American third grade students in public Montessori and other magnet schools in a large, urban district in North Carolina. Scores from end-of-grade state tests of reading and math are compared using a multivariate analysis of covariance. No significant difference in math scores was identified, but students in Montessori schools scored significantly higher in reading. This suggests that Montessori lower elementary instruction may be beneficial for African American students.

Full Text: Access through your university library or purchase full text from here.

Brunold-Conesa, C. (2010). “ International education: The International Baccalaureate, Montessori and global citizenship.” Journal of Research in International Education, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 259-272.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) programs and Montessori education both claim to promote values associated with global citizenship in order to help prepare students for new challenges presented by an increasingly globalized world. While the IB’s secondary programs are widespread in international schools, Montessori programs at that level are comparatively few. This article compares and contrasts IB and Montessori secondary programs with respect to the promotion of global citizenship, and explores the scarcity of secondary Montessori programs in general and in the international schools community in particular.

Full Text: Access through your university library or purchase full text from Sage.

Byun, W., Blair, S.N. and Pate, R.R. (2013). "Objectively Measured Sedentary Behavior in Preschool Children: Comparison between Montessori and Traditional Preschools." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10:2

Cossentino, J. (2009). “Culture, Craft, and Coherence: The Unexpected Vitality of Montessori Teacher Training.” Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 60, No. 5, pp. 520 – 527.

This essay examines the “how, whys, and what fors” of Montessori teacher education. Treating the Montessori system as an illuminating case of alternative teacher preparation, three concepts common to the lexicon of teacher education—culture, craft, and coherence—are explored in detail. Drawing from both mainstream teacher education research and ethnographic studies of Montessori teacher training, the essay probes several conceptual puzzles aimed toward reconsidering key ideas related to the development of cultural and technical expertise.

Full Text: Access through your university library or purchase full text from Sage

Donabella, M.A. and Rule, A.C. (2008). "Four Seventh Grade Students Who Qualify for Academic Intervention Services in Mathematics Learning Multi-Digit Multiplication with the Montessori Checkerboard: A Case Study." Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, Vol. 4, No. 3. Full text.

Ely, M, and Matias, B (2006). "Montessori Moments: Voices from the Field." Research supported by the American Montessori Society and the West Side Montessori School. 

Koh, J.H.L. and Frick, T. W. (2010).Implementing Autonomy Support: Insights from a Montessori Classroom.” International Journal of Education, Vol. 2, No. 2.

Laski, E.V., Jor’dan, J.R., Daoust, C., and Murray, A.K. (2015).What Makes Mathematics Manipulatives Effective? Lessons From Cognitive Science and Montessori Education.” SAGE Open. doi: 0.1177/2158244015589588

Lillard, A. S. (2012). Preschool Children's Development in Classic Montessori, Supplemented Montessori, and Conventional Programs. Journal of School Psychology, 50, 379-401. Available on Dr. Lillard's Web site.

Lillard, A.S., Heise, M.J., Richey, E.M,, Tong, X., Hart, A. and Bray, P.M. (2017) “Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study.” Frontiers in Psychology. 8:1783. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01783

Lillard, A. and Else-Quest, N. (2006). “The Early Years: Evaluating Montessori Education.” Science, Vol. 313, No. 5795, pp. 1893 – 1894. Available on Dr. Lillard's Web site.

Murray, A. K. (2011).Montessori Elementary Philosophy Reflects Current Motivation Theories.Montessori Life, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 22 – 33.

Murray, A. and Peyton, V. (2012). Public Knowledge of Montessori Education.Montessori Life, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 18 - 21.

Murray, A. K., Bagby, J. H., and Sulak, T. (2010).Research 101: Understanding Educational Research.Montessori Life, Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 34 – 37.

Rathunde, K. (2014). “Understanding Optimal School Experience: Contributions From Montessori Education.” Teachers College Record Volume 116 Number 13, 2014, p. 253-274.

After summarizing the results from two studies the author conducted in Montessori middle schools, the chapter discusses nine characteristics of Montessori education in relation to various theoretical perspectives on education and development. The first three characteristics discussed—freedom of choice, eliminating grades, and learning by doing—are examined in relation to contemporary theories of motivation and education. Three lesser known characteristics—deep concentration, prepared environments, and habits of self-regulation—are discussed in the context of the flow theory of optimal experience. Finally, three facets of Montessori education that are perhaps the least understood and recognized—movement, aesthetic order, and the importance of nature—are considered in light of emerging perspectives on embodied knowledge. Examples of how each characteristic can be applied in the classroom are drawn from the author's observations and research in Montessori middle schools.

Abstract is available free-of-charge from Teachers College Record; at the same link, you can also order a digital copy of the complete article for $12.

Shernoff, D.J. (2013). Models of Engaging Private Schools and the Case of Montessori Schools. In, Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development (pp. 219-246). New York: Springer.

In this chapter, 3 private school models with empirical support for engaging youth are presented and discussed. Montessori philosophy is built around reverence for the child. In contrast to public schools, Maria Montessori believed that mental development was dependent on movement, and that overall development was dependent on autonomous actions and the cultivation of interests in the world.

Abstract is available free-of-charge from Springer Publishing; at the same link, you can also order a digital copy of the complete chapter for $29.95.

Thayer-Bacon, Barbara J. (2012). "Maria Montessori, John Dewey, and William H. Kilpatrick," Education and Culture: Vol. 28: Iss. 1, Article 3.

Whitescarver, K. and Cossentino, J. (2008).Montessori and the Mainstream: A Century of Reform on the Margins.” Teachers College Record, Vol. 110, No. 12, pp. 2571 – 2600.

Zascavage, V.S. McKenzie, G.K., Bout, M. and, Woods, C. (2012).The Effect of visual-Spatial Stimulation on Emergent Readers at Risk for Specific Learning Disability in Read.” International Journal of Special Education, Vol. 27, No. 3. Used with permission.

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