Document 5519194

Montessori vs.
Traditional Schooling
By: Renee Castro
Is the Montessori philosophy on education more
effective in terms of school readiness
as compared to “Traditional” public school
Development of the Brain
• Brain Development and
Early Learning (Edie &
Schmid 2007)
– 90% of all brain
development occurs by
age of 5
– During preschool years
the brain begins to
make best use of
– Brain develops more
quickly between birth
and age five than
during any other time
Early Childhood
• Birth-2nd grade
• Geared to give the young
child a jumpstart to
• NYC DOE Standards
– gaining ability in using
different art media and
materials in a variety of
ways for creative
expression and
– beginning to recognize
print and sound
– understanding patterns,
relations and functions in
School Readiness
• Researchers, policymakers, and advocates of early
childhood have described school readiness in
different ways:
• State of early development that enables an individual child
to engage in and benefit from first grade learning
– Child trends research brief
• physical development, motor development, social and
emotional development, language development, cognition
and general knowledge
• Schools should also be able to provide smooth transitions
between the home and school for new students
• three part affair where children are ready for school,
families are ready to support their children’s learning, and
schools are ready for children
Montessori vs Traditional School
• Montessori
– goal of education is to develop natural
interests and activities rather than use formal
teaching methods.
– Method where the students learning develops
from there own interest, experiences, and
interactions with the environment and specific
materials that are meant to enhance this idea
of self teaching.
• Traditional public school based on a
general curriculum and standards as
designed by the NYC DOE
Purpose of This Research
• To compare different methods of education that
may in fact be more effective in preparing
children for elementary school.
• The study will look at both Traditional public
school pre-kindergarten programs and Montessori
Early Childhood education programs, compare and
contrast the two in an effort to distinguish which
program is more effective in achieving school
So who cares and why….?
• Previous studies have compared traditional public
schools and Montessori schools learning effects in
elementary and Middle school.
• Maria Montessori based her work originally on
early childhood yet there is little to no research
that discusses the effectiveness of her methods
in preschoolers
• Important to conduct this research in order to
compare the Montessori method as an effective
alternative to the public school system.
Crain, 2011; Ross, 2012
• Maria Montessori
– Dedicated herself to the actual teaching of children
– Influenced by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, both believed
children were different from adults in the way that they
– First began work with children by educating poor
children in San Lorenzo, Rome
• Casa dei Bambini
– Montessori method- child taking the world in through
hands, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth; physical exploration
of the world
– Sensitive periods
• Primarily during first three years of a child’s life
• Point where the child has a strong need for order
• Four sensitive periods
Independent Mastery
• Child learn on their own
through their experiences
and interactions as opposed
to through teacher guidance
• Montessori classroomteachers do not direct
learning instead children
work toward independent
• Instruction based on
sensorial materials developed
by Maria Montessori (Ryniker
& Shoho, 2001)
– Textured
– Visual
– Self correcting
Ryniker & Sholw(2001),
• Study took a elementary student perspective approach on
Montessori Schools vs. traditional school.
• Montessori and traditional elementary classrooms differ in
different domains
• Results showed
– Montessori classrooms less competitive, less structured, more
student centered, and more innovative than traditional
– Traditional schools were rated higher on teacher control as
well as competition which the researcher believes may be a
result of trying to complete a task as well as the standardized
assignment and the emphasis on grades
• Study concluded
– Montessori classrooms stress a workshop approach where the
goal is for each student to be pursuing the next level of
achievement in an area of interest which often leads the class
into unexpected areas of study
– Traditional school the students generally are dependent on
information and assignments which come from the teacher
Academic Achievement/
Performance Outcomes
• the extent to which a student, teacher or school
has achieved their educational goals
• Lopata et al., 2005
– Four demographically similar traditional public, magnet
city schools and Montessori schools found equal math
and worse language arts outcomes for 8th graders and
4th graders in the different programs performed
• Dohrmann et al., 2007
– Found that children who had attended public Montessori
programs from ages 3 to 11 performed better at ages 15
to 18 in math and science than demographically-matched
classmates who had been in other programs through the
5th grade
Lillard, 2012
• Do preschool children's school readiness skills
change from fall to spring as a function of
program type ie: Classic Montessori,
Supplemented Montessori, or Conventional?
• Within Montessori programs, does the percentage
of children using Montessori materials in a
classroom predict children's school readiness
skills in the spring, after controlling for fall skill
– Study showed inconsistencies in different areas of the
research and did not fully support the hypothesis that
the gains of children in Classic Montessori programs
would exceed those of children in Conventional programs
for the outcomes tested
“Where public schools were failing was a place where
Montessori education might make a difference”,
Rambusch, 2007.
• Gap in this research:
– lack of research on early childhood education.
• Is the Montessori philosophy on education
more effective in terms of school
readiness as compared to “traditional”
pubic school education?
• Hypothesis:
– Montessori education, if followed how originally
intended by Maria Montessori, is a more
effective method of achieving school readiness
in preschoolers than traditional public school
Participants: (schools selected for this study will be NYC schools
from the same schools district)
– 45 pre-kindergarten students in three classrooms in a Montessori
– 45 pre-kindergarten students in three classrooms in a public school.
Experimental design comparing Montessori and Traditional to
determine which instructional method promotes school readiness:
– Pre and post test in the study will be a school readiness inventory
prepared by the research based on the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core as designed by the New
York State Department of Education.
– All participants given an identical pre-test at the beginning of the
study; cognitive development, social emotional development, and
language development.
– Learn for the course of the school year with the schools respective
educational philosophy
– Teachers and the researchers will take observational anecdotal
records of student and class progress on the variables included in the
pre-test instrument.
– Identical post test at end of school year
• Statistical analysis comparing pre and post test scores
of the school readiness inventory for each school
• Researcher will look at all variables separately for
each school and as an overall category of school
• Test will be then conducted to compare scores of
Montessori schools to the public school.
• The researcher will review teacher and researcher
anecdotal records to account for any possible
differentiating or existential factors that may
influence the results of the study.
• By looking at the scores of the pre and post-test
scores, it is expected to see a significantly greater
increase in scores among Montessori students then
that of students in public school when it comes to
school readiness for all variables.
If Montessori is a more effective alternative to traditional public
– parents may turn to a Montessori education as a choice for early
– policy makers may ultimately adopt a Montessori philosophy for early
childhood education.
However, results may that Montessori is more effective within
some variables while traditional school more effective in others.
– Ideally for future research to examine and possibly create a mixed
method of learning including both components of Montessori education
and traditional public education
If traditional public school students pre-post test score show no
significant difference
– Different pre-school interventions do not have an effect on school
– Montessori Method may only prepare students to advance onto other
Montessori schools not necessarily to a traditional public school.
– Montessori does not focus on test taking but rather observation,
Montessori students may not have been as adequately prepared for
post test as traditional pre-kindergarteners.
Discussion (cont.)
• Possible Limitations:
– May be difficult to find a public school with
multiple pre-kindergarten classrooms
– Lack of similar SES.
• Most Montessori schools are private schools in which
parents pay a fee or tuition to enroll their child.
Public schools may have students of different SES
backgrounds which may play a roll in results of this
• Future research may account for this by having a
group of students of similar age and SES and
randomly assigning them to one of two conditions,
traditional or Montessori Method of education.
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