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Study shows Montessori Education Helps Children Become Happy Adults

Montessori Education Helps Children Become Happy Adults

Recent research highlights the long-term benefits of a Montessori education for greater happiness and well-being of adults

When Dr. Maria Montessori founded the Montessori philosophy more than 100 years ago, she developed a child-centric approach to education that builds on the way children naturally learn, not just academically but also socially and emotionally. Researchshows strong evidence that Montessori education provides long-term positive benefits and may be superior to traditional, conventional methods of education, especially on measures relating to students’ psychological health and well-being.

Nurturing Happiness and Well-Being

Well-being, or how people think and feel about themselves and their lives, predicts important life outcomes, from happiness to health to longevity. A Montessori education helps support one’s well-being by creating a learning environment and social environment that inspires self-determination, offers meaningful activities, and provides emotional stability.

A 2021 study of approximately 1,900 adults in the U.S., revealed that:

  • Attending a Montessori school for at least two years was associated with significantly higher levels of well-being, engagement, social trust, and self-confidence.
  • A second analysis in the study found that the difference in well-being between Montessori and conventional schools existed even among those students that had exclusively attended private schools.
  • The study’s third analysis found that the more years a child attended Montessori, the higher one's well-being as an adult.

“Well-being, or the felt experience of health, happiness, and flourishing, predicts several desirable outcomes including better health and work performance, longevity, and more positive social behavior and relations,” according to the authors of the research, led by Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia. “On almost every survey, people who had spent at least two years in Montessori had higher well-being than people who never went to Montessori,” said Lillard.

In a Montessori classroom, students participate and interact in three-year age groups where they are encouraged and empowered to explore and pursue individual interests at their own pace. Simultaneously, students benefit from socially engaging with their peers and learning from each other. Under the direction of attentive teachers, children are guided and supported based on their individual needs and interests. The freedom of exploration, participation in new learning experiences, and being a part of a welcoming, purposeful and enjoyable classroom environment lead to greater self-esteem and successful educational and social pursuits.

“The study is one more data point in a growing body of research suggesting Montessori pedagogy [education] is better for humans than is the common model,” said Lillard. “And, since it is over 100 years since people began implementing Montessori, it has been beta-tested — we know how to implement this pedagogy and are doing so all over the world. More people should know about it.”

At Apple Montessori Schools, we go above and beyond the traditional Montessori approach to help your child reach their fullest potential in the classroom and beyond. Our teachers see first-hand the positive impact and outcomes of creating stimulating learning environments that foster the physical, academic, emotional, and social well-being of children. We put out students at the center of all we do, which leads to happier children, parents, families, and communities.

“In the words of the child – I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”

Dr. Maria Montessori