Magazine article Montessori Life

The Importance of Research to Montessori Education

Magazine article Montessori Life

The Importance of Research to Montessori Education

Article excerpt

Most Montessori teachers are so impressed with the remarkable results of the method that it is difficult to explain the value of Montessori education-to the person not conversant with Montessori theory and practice, it may sound too good to be true. We Montessorians may know that Montessori education is a gift, but we need research on its efficacy to provide an objective case to the world of traditional education. The federal government, state departments of education, universities, and today's parents want to see data that supports our claims that Montessori is a superior approach. AMS is committed to leading the way in building this body of research.

Through the Montessori Public Policy Initiative (MPPI), a collaboration of AMS and AMI, many states have achieved or are working to achieve recognition for Montessori training that allows trainees to receive state certification at the same time as their AMS credential. Research is critical to achieving this status for our teacher education programs and is long overdue.

Angela Murray, assistant research professor at the University of Kansas and AMS senior researcher & coordinator, facilitates AMS's research efforts. She founded and edits the Journal of Montessori Research, an open-access scholarly publication (available at journals. ku.edu/jmr or amshq.org/ResearchJournal). Angela and the AMS Research Committee are organizing several events for the AMS 2017 Annual Conference, March 9-12, in San Diego: our ninth-annual research poster session; a workshop on graduate research in Montessori education and a networking session for graduate student researchers; a pre-conference session for university-based Montessori researchers; and a session highlighting recent research findings, for teachers and administrators.

Angela also launched the Montessori Research Interest Group, on Facebook, as a place for sharing important information about Montessori research as well as research from mainstream education studies related to Montessori principles and practice. As of this writing, the Facebook group has almost 3,800 members.

In 2015, scholars from across the nation met at Westminster College, in Salt Lake City, UT, for the first Montessori Research Retreat, funded by a generous donor and co-hosted by Murray and Nancy Lindeman; Nancy is director of the Institute for Montessori Innovation at Westminster College. …

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