AMI Research Study: Outcomes for Montessori Students
A research study conducted by the Association Montessori Internationale on the performance of Montessori students when they transition to more conventional academic environments. A significant finding in this study is the association between a Montessori education and superior performance in Math and Science. In essence, the study shows that attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to eleven predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school.
"The idea that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel was striking. The example of thousands of Montessori schools is before us. Montessori puts the student at the center. It is proven to work. As noted by Sivadlk it’s working on every inhabited continent, at every economic level. The approach is over 100 years old but the ideas are timeless. The world is finally catching up with Maria Montessori’s insights."
Andrew McAfee, principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business in the MIT Sloan School of Management, says of his Montessori education:
"The main thing I learned there is that the world is a really interesting place, and one that should be explored. Can there be any better foundation for an innovator in training?"
"Ironically, the Montessori educational approach might be the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the school’s alumni that one might suspect a Montessori Mafia: Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, not to mention Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs."
Well-know Montessori graduates and supporters on the benefits of Montessori education.
Jeremy Allaire, chairman and chief executive of Brightcove
In an interview in The New York Times, Jeremy Allaire states:
"One of the most important influences early on was being educated in a Montessori setting. The Montessori ethos was very formative for me because it built into me the belief in self-direction, in independent thought, in peer collaboration, in responsibility."
Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com
Jeff Bezos, founder of amazon.com. Bezos reflects on his early education at a Montessori school until the end of the 3rd grade as essential to who he is today. He was given the confidence and nurturing environment to focus on personal exploration and creativity.
Sergey Brin & Larry Page, co-founders of Google
Sergey Brin talks about his Montessori education, and his first computer at the Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age conference at Google.
Brin states" I do think I benefited from the Montessori education which in some ways gives the students a lot more freedoms to do things at their own pace, to discover."
Watch the video.
On the Barbara Walters ABC-TV Special "The 10 Most Fascinating People Of 2004," Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, remarked that their years of Montessori education was likely a major contributory factor in their success. Ms. Walters asked if the fact that their parents were college professors was a contributor as well. They replied that their attending a Montessori school contributed to to a greater degree than their parents being professors. Montessori education, they felt, taught them be self-directed and become self-starters. It permitted them to learn to think for themselves and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests.
Julia Child, chef and author
Julia Child attended Montessori school and credits that education (in her book Julia Child and Company)for her love of working with her hands.
Julia child exemplifies creativity, initiative and self confidence.
Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, music mogul
One of the most successful entertainers in popular music, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, has made Fortune magazine's, "America's 40 Richest Under 40" list more than once.
At age 19, he became one of the youngest directors of A&R records, marking the beginning of one of the most successful and rapid ascents in the history of the entertainment industry.
When musing on his life thus far, he shares, "What I'm most concerned about is finding inner peace and happiness. All that glitters isn't gold."
Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell
Inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Education Association in 1913. They also provided financial support directly to Dr. Maria Montessori and helped establish the first Montessori school in Canada and one of the first in the United States.
Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor, helped found a Montessori school.
Katharine Graham, former owner and editor of The Washington Post
Katharine Graham, former owner and editor of The Washington Post, states in her autobiography Personal History, "The Montessori method - learning by doing - once again became my stock in trade."
Dr Steven Hughes, pediatric neuropsychologist and Montessori parent
Dr Steven Hughes' entertaining talk "Good at Doing Things" highlights the benefits of a Montessori education. You can view his talk on his website at GoodatDoingThings.com
Here are a few key points from his presentation:
- Our brains grow when they have "Experimental interactions with the environment", when they engage and explore the world
- More of the brain is dedicated to controlling your hands than any other part of the body
- Human beings learn best through hands-on exploration of the world, especially in childhood
- Montessori's hand-on education philosophy is based on the idea that the hands are the tools the mind uses to discover the world.
You may also watch these short videos of Dr Steven Hughes discussing the following:
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Author and Nobel Prize Winner
Montessori graduate Gabriel Garcia Marquez eloquently describes Montessori’s influence:
"I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life."
Will Wright, creator of the the Sims video game series
Will Wright creator of the the Sims video game series, the best-selling PC game in history. Wright credits his success to his Montessori education. "Montessori taught me the joy of discovery."
"It's all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. And when kids discover these things on their own, what they learn sticks with them so much more."
Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia
"As a child, Wales was a keen reader with an acute intellectual curiosity and, in what he credits to the influence of the Montessori method on the school’s philosophy of education, 'spent lots of hours pouring [sic] over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias,' " says Mr. Wales' own Wikipedia entry.
Yo Yo Ma, cellist
Famed cellist Yo Yo Ma was not only Montessori educated, but chose to send his daughter Emily to a Montessori school as well. “Structure is an absolutely important part of the creative life, and Emily got this from her Montessori experience.” said Yo Yo Ma once in an interview.