New research suggests Montessori schools close income achievement gap

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) – New research released by a professor from the University of Virginia finds that a Montessori education closes the income achievement gap for children. 

WVIR reports that the research spanned over a seven-year period and involved 141 children in both Montessori and conventional schools in Hartford, Conn.

A Montessori education is defined as a child-centered educational approach tailored to specific observations that span across a child's development.

Parames Adie, program director and guide at the Montessori school of Charlottesville, says the education teaches students how to be independent, respectful, and self-guided learners.

“I think the earliest the children can receive this kind of guidance, it'll have a huge impact for the rest of their lives,” Adie said.

Angeline Lillard conducted the research in Connecticut schools and says children who attended a Montessori school were persistent in challenges they faced.

“In Montessori, the point is human development the point is not test scores and being able to measure how children do,” Lillard said. “The point is how we can help every child to develop to their fullest potential.”

According to Lillard, classrooms in Montessori programs are set up to serve different needs at the same time, and the children gravitate to what meets their specific needs.

Teachers, or guides as they call them, also take a more hands-off approach. Another important finding showed students reported liking school more and learning from their teachers compared to those that attended conventional schools. 

“The children in a Montessori environment seems to all come to the same higher level and it doesn't reinforce the discrepancies that conventional schools seem to reinforce and repeat,” Lillard said.