Study Says Montessori Schools Superior for Long-Term Happiness and Success


students working in a montessori classroom

New research by a University of Virginia research team suggests that spending time attending a Montessori school at any age encourages children to grow into happier adults, therefore promoting well-being and overall stability.

This research project was led by UVA psychology professor Angeline Lillard and the paper was published in Frontiers in Psychology. It used data from nearly 2,000 people between the ages of 18 and 81 completing a series of well-being surveys to examine the differences in the well-being of those who attended Montessori schools and those who attended traditional public and private schools. 

The study’s findings have been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes and Psychology Today

Benefits of Montessori Education

The results from this study concluded that there is a significant connection between attending a Montessori school and having an elevated level of psychological well-being in the long term. Specifically, adults who had attended Montessori schools for at least two years showed a significantly high level of well-being when compared to adults who only attended traditional schools as children.

This study also accounted for other factors that commonly affect adults’ well-being, including socioeconomic status, race, gender and ethnicity, to ensure the accuracy of the results. 

“Well-being” was defined by the researchers as a person’s felt experience of health, happiness, and flourishing.

Montessori Schools in Action

Montessori schools are flexible by nature, allowing each student to thrive under their own chosen circumstances. Students decide for themselves what they want to learn, and they have the opportunity to participate in meaningful activities that are more applicable to their daily lives and interests. The students, therefore, can become more independent and self-determinative than other children their age, while also growing their knowledge base and learning important skills.

Additionally, Montessori schools stress the importance of community and teamwork. Most schools use three-year age groupings or pods, which allow students to interact with peers of the same age, as well as children who are younger and older than them. Students in Montessori schools quickly learn community values including compassion and communication, and they also develop leadership skills through helping younger students complete tasks. This dynamic provides the children with a unique sense of social stability among their peers. They have a solid balance of confidence and respect that they can use when meeting people in the future as well.

Montessori Schools Today

Approximately 500,000 children currently attend Montessori school across the United States. There are at least 2,750 Montessori schools, including both public and private institutions.

Various educational institutions use these proven Montessori techniques to both educate and promote well-being among students. They use the daily routine of going to school as a means to inspire the students to be their best selves inside and outside of the classroom.

Many parents around the country and in the Washington, D.C. area are now rethinking their educational strategies for their children. Based on this new research, Montessori schools may be best for children’s current and future selves.

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