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Montessori Learning Aid: Alternative school shows impact on poor children

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11:46am, September 27, 2006

A century ago, Italian physician Maria Montessori started an innovative school for children 4 to 7 years old in a destitute section of Rome. A new study, focusing on poor and lower-middle-class children from Milwaukee, now provides the best evidence to date that Montessori's unique educational approach, at least when strictly applied, yields academic and social advances superior to those produced by other schools.

By the end of kindergarten, Montessori children outperformed their peers at public and private schools on standardized math and reading tests, say Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Nicole Else-Quest of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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