Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The aim of the Journal of Montessori Research is to “advance knowledge of Montessori education through empirical research studies, critical reviews of the literature and theoretical essays available in an open access forum.” The editors invite submissions from a variety of disciplines to “contribute to scholarship for the Montessori community as well as the broader field of education.” Journal content consists of an editorial summarizing the issue and research articles written mostly by Montessori school teachers and educators. The journal is published twice a year, in the fall and spring.
According to the American Montessori Society website, Montessori schools “include multiage groupings that foster peer learning, uninterrupted blocks of work time, and guided choice of work activity,” and material here reflects the emphasis on these three teaching methods. Articles published in the most recent three issues include “Homework Policy and Student Choice: Findings from a Montessori Charter School,” “The Effects of Choice on Reading Engagement and Comprehension for Second- and Third-Grade Students: An Action Research Report,” “The Montessori Experiment in Rhode Island (1913-1940): Tracing Theory to Implementation over Twenty-Five Years,” “Social Justice Education in an Urban Charter Montessori School,” “Racial and Economic Diversity in U.S. Public Montessori Schools,” “Proving Montessori: Identity and Dilemmas in a Montessori Teacher’s Lived Experience,” “Longitudinal Comparison of Montessori versus Non-Montessori Students’ Place-Value and Arithmetic Knowledge,” “An Intervention Study: Removing Supplemented Materials from Montessori Classrooms Associated with Better Child Outcomes,” “Examining Montessori Middle School through a Self-Determination Theory Lens: A Study of the Lived Experiences of Adolescents.”
Some articles make comparisons between Montessori schools and non- Montessori schools, a fair number, in effect, proselytize about the Method, and others make the Montessori Method sound like a cult. The bottom line is this title talks about subjects of interest to those involved directly in teaching in, or doing research about, Montessori schools. It doesn’t offer much beyond that.