One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.
— Maria Montessori

what parents & students are saying

“If you get a call (offering enrollment) from Miss Betty, pick it up, take a chance and you'll understand soon enough why this school is special.”
LIA R., Parent 


“Miss Betty, you’re soft and warm and you smell good.  You’re like clean laundry.”
MATEO L., Student, age 4 


“It is not an easy task to find quality childcare in Chicago and we feel so lucky we have found Montessori Foundations of Chicago…. teachers rarely come and go, they usually don't change much at all which is very nice.”
DEIMILE S., Parent

“We have been truly blessed by the amount of support, advice and guidance we have received from this school and to be part of a great community. Montessori Foundation of Chicago not only offers a great price but also a great education and community.”
RUTH T., Parent

“I feel like you get a headstart for everything and you can move around. Everyone gets to choose their own work.”
HARPER D., Student, age 5

“My oldest son made his transition to first grade at a CPS school this year, and MFC prepared him quite well - he already knew how to read, do math, engage in problem solving, and was socially ready for the change. He's thriving in his new school now.”
RYAN L., Parent

“MFC is an incredible school. My two kids currently go there and we're having another kid just so we can send her there too.”
JONATHAN W., Parent

“Being here makes you smart. I feel that the teachers are very nice.”
GAEL C., Student, Age 5

“The staff there have not only been beneficial to our children's growth, but has also helped me to become a more confident parent.”
CECILIE R., Parent

 

“We have all three of our children at MFC. They have thrived so much and have become so motivated and independent. They love to go to school and love to learn.”
TANIA H., Parents

“I chose this school for its diversity.”
BETH V., Parent

“I’ve been here for six years.  I feel good cause I’m learning.  Like, one day I counted to a thousand on the golden chain.”
JACKSON, Student, Age 6

“I learned a lot and I like to do sounds and write and I like to do metal insets.”
EMILY, Student, Age 4

“The Montessori method has a way of building confidence in kids that makes them genuinely want to succeed for themselves…..”
KARL J., Parent

“The teachers are nice and the works are fun. We find our work and we move around. We do it on our own.”
EMILY M., Student, Age 6

“The teachers are pretty and they're nice.”
ALE P., Student, Age 4

“We've been extremely pleased with the support, academic achievement, high-quality professional education, diverse student and parent community, affordability, and convenience of the school. Our son has developed not only strong core academic skills like reading and math, but also learned how to make friends, work within a group environment and genuinely develop a joy of learning through his instruction.”
JUSTINE K., Parent

“There's no reason (about liking the process). I'm just happy about it. I'm happy about math because it is fun and easy. But some problems could get out of hand and take too long to figure out. I try to think really hard.”
ARIS V., Student, Age 5

“I definitely recommend this school to everyone I know.”
LI L., Parent

what others are saying

SIGMUND FREUD, Psychologist

Freud became acquainted with Montessori through his daughter, Anna.  In a letter to Maria Montessori, Sigmund writes, “If everyone had your schools, they wouldn’t need me!”

 

JEFF BEZOS, Amazon founder

A Montessori alumni who pledged to fund Montessori inspired preschools.  The young Bezos "would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task," according to his mother.

 

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ, Nobel prize-winning author

Marquez said his Montessori education gave him “the desire to kiss literature” and states, “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.”

 

SERGEY BRIN & LARRY PAGE, Google founders

“You can’t understand Google,” says Wired, “unless you know [its founders] were Montessori kids… In a Montessori school, you paint because you have something to express or you just want to… not because the teacher said so. This is baked into Larry and Sergey… it’s how their brains were programmed early on.”

 

WILL WRIGHT – Video game pioneer, creator of the Sims

The videogame innovator says Montessori was the “imagination amplifier” that prepared him for creating The Sims, Sim City, Spore and Super Mario Brothers. “SimCity comes right out of Montessori… It’s all about learning on your own terms.”

 

THOMAS EDISON & ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, Scientists and Inventors

Early supporters of Maria Montessori who helped found the first Montessori schools and the first Montessori association in the United States.  “I like the Montessori method,” Edison has been quoted saying, “It makes learning a pleasure.”

 

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 Britannica and World Book Encyclopedias,” according to Wales’ own Wikipedia entry (which we hope he created himself, all things considering.)

 

KATHARINE GRAHAM, Pulitzer prize-winning author and Former owner & editor of the Washington Post

Crisis forced Katherine Graham to assume control of the Washington Post. Her confidence faltered but—remembering that what matters is how people learn, not what they know—Graham said, “The Montessori method, learning by doing, once again became my stock in trade.” Her reign at the highly-regarded paper lasted more than two decades.

 

ERIK ERIKSON – Psychologist & Author

The Danish-German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development, Erikson may be most famous for coining the phrase “identity crisis”. He found Montessori ideas so compelling that studied them as an adult and acquiring a Montessori teaching certificate.  

DALI LAMA – Spiritual Leader & Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Along with his sister, Jetsun Pema, founded Montessori schools for Tibeten refugee children called Tibetan Children’s Villages.  The Dalai Lama said, “Children are born mindful and with wisdom we can keep this skill alive—Montessori is wonderful in this way.”

STEPHEN CURRY, NBA MVP

Stephen Curry attended Montessori schools from preschool to grade 6.  He credits Montessori with instilling in him the skills to learn at his own pace as well as to harness his strengths, work on his weaknesses, and develop a sense that he could achieve anything.   "Montessori has helped me become the person that I am today.

WALL ST JOURNAL:  THE MONTESSORI MAFIA

“[Montessori…]: the surest route to joining the creative elite, which are so overrepresented by the schools’ alumni that one might begin to suspect a Montessori mafia”

FORBES: LET'S LEARN FROM MONTESSORI

"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."

HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW: MONTESSORI BUILDS INNOVATORS

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?"

what REsEARCH is saying

Outcomes for Students in a Montessori Program: A Longitudinal Study of the Experience in the Milwaukee Public Schools

Dohrmann, K. R., Nishida, T. K., Gartner, A., Lipsky, D. K., & Grimm, K. (2003)
Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 22 (2), pp. 205–217

This longitudinal study of Milwaukee high school graduates showed that students who had attended Montessori preschool and elementary programs significantly outperformed a peer control group on math/science scores. “In essence,” the study found, “attending a Montessori program from the approximate ages of three to 11 predicts significantly higher mathematics and science standardized test scores in high school.

 

A Comparison of Montessori and Traditional Middle Schools: Motivation, Quality of Experience, and Social Context  

Rathunde, K., (2005)

American Journal of Education, Vol. 111, No. 3, pp. 341-371

This study compared middle school students in Montessori programs with students in traditional middle schools, and found significantly higher student motivation and socialization among the Montessori students. “There were strong differences suggesting that Montessori students were feeling more active, strong, excited, happy, relaxed, sociable, and proud while engaged in academic work. They were also enjoying themselves more, they were more interested in what they were doing, and they wanted to be doing academic work more than the traditional students.”

 

An Analysis of a Public School Prekindergarten Bilingual Montessori Program

Rodriguez, L., Irby, B. J., Brown, G., Lara-Alecio, R., & Galloway, M., (2005)

Review of Research and Practice, Vol 3, pp. 45-65

These authors examined the reading skills of low-income Latino students from a bilingual Montessori preK program compared to similar students from a traditional bilingual preK program. Students who had participated in the Montessori preschool scored significantly higher on both Spanish and English reading tests. This suggests that the Montessori preK fostered superior language skills in both languages than the traditional preK, even though both were bilingual.

 

Evaluating Montessori Education

Lillard, A.S. & Else-Quest, N., (2006)

Science, Vol 313, pp. 1893-94

Researchers compared Montessori students with students in other school programs, and found that 5-year-old children who completed the three-year cycle in the Montessori preschool program scored higher on both academic and behavioral tests than the control group. The study also found that 12-year-old Montessori students wrote more sophisticated and creative stories and showed a more highly developed sense of community and social skills than students in other programs.

A 3-year study of self-regulation in Montessori and non-Montessori classrooms.

Ervin, B., Wash, P. D., & Mecca, M. E. (2010)

Montessori Life, Vol 22 pp. 22-31.  

Researchers compared 256 Montessori and non-Montessori students in kindergarten, first-and second-grades from three public school districts in South Carolina. They found that Montessori children have comparatively higher levels of self-regulation and more consistent growth in self-regulation skills over the 3-year period of the study. Further, researchers found an association between students’ levels of self-regulation and their academic success.

Preschool children’s development in classic Montessori, supplemented Montessori, and conventional programs.

Lillard, A.S., (2012)

Journal of School Psychology Vol 50, pp. 379-401

Angeline Lillard examines the impact of Montessori implementation fidelity. Her study found that children in classroom with high fidelity implementation showed significantly greater school- year gains on outcome measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving, than children in low fidelity or conventional classrooms.

Creative giftedness and educational opportunities.

Besançon, M., Lubart, T., & Barbot, B. (2013)

Educational & Child Psychology, 30(2), 79-88

This study examined creative potential, defined as the “latent ability to produce original, adaptive work,” in elementary-aged children in Montessori and traditional schools in France. The Montessori students performed significantly better on tasks of divergent and convergent thinking than their traditional school peers. Furthermore, the Montessori group yielded a greater number of students who qualified as “creative-gifted.” The authors conclude that Montessori school contexts effectively promote the development of creative potential.


Montessori public school pre-K programs and the school readiness of low-income Black and Latino children.

Ansari, A. & Winsler, A. (2014)

Journal of Educational Psychology, 106(4), pp. 1066–1079

This study used data from the Miami School Readiness Project to examine the school readiness gains of 7,045 low-income Latino and 6,700 low-income Black children. Researchers compared students from two types of Title I pre-K public school programs: those in programs using the Montessori curriculum and those in more conventional programs using the High/Scope curriculum with a literacy supplement. “Latino children in Montessori programs began the year at most risk in pre-academic and behavioral skills, yet exhibited the greatest gains across these domains and ended the year scoring above national averages.”


Academic achievement outcomes: A comparison of Montessori and non-Montessori public elementary school students.

Mallett, J. D., & Schroeder, J. L. (2015).

Journal of Elementary Education, 25(1), pp. 39-53.

This study compared reading and math achievement of over 1,000 students in grades one through five in public Montessori and non-Montessori schools in Texas. No statistically significant differences in reading or math achievement were found in grades one through three, but Montessori students in grades four and five performed significantly better in both subjects than their peers in traditional schools.

Montessori Preschool Elevates and Equalizes Child Outcomes: A Longitudinal Study.

Lillard, A.S., Heise, M.J., Richey, E.M., Tong, X., Hart, A. and Bray P.M. (2017)

Frontiers in Psychology. 8:1783. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01783

Children in Montessori preschools show improved academic performance and social understanding, while enjoying their school work more, finds the first longitudinal study of Montessori education outcomes. Strikingly, children from low-income families, who typically don't perform as well at school, show similar academic performance as children from high-income families. Children with low executive function similarly benefit from Montessori preschools. The study suggests that well-implemented Montessori education could be a powerful way to help disadvantaged children to achieve their academic potential.

A Study of Montessori Education in South Carolina’s Public Schools

Culclasure, B. and Felming, D. (2018)

The Riley Institute at Furman

A five-year study analyzing the impact of South Carolina’s nearly 50 Montessori public schools has found that their students perform significantly better than those in traditional public schools, closing the achievement gap especially for children from low-income backgrounds.  Montessori students demonstrated more growth in reading and math, earning state test scores that were 6 to 8 percentage points higher. But they also bested their non-Montessori peers in the soft skills inherent to Montessori education: creativity, good behavior, and independence.