Are Montessori Kids Healthier?
There is plenty of evidence regarding the benefits of Montessori education: high academic achievement, self-confidence, natural leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and independent thinking. But here’s a question I had never thought of until recently: Are Montessori kids healthier?
A study sponsored by the National Institute of Health asked that question, although more narrowly focused. They compared children in Montessori preschools and those in traditional programs, using accelerometers to measure the amount of movement in their day. They looked at preschoolers during the heart of their day, as well as in after school programs and at home.
The researchers had hypothesized data would reveal Montessori kids moved more, both in and out of school. The findings proved them correct. But what is even more fascinating is that the effect lasted outside of school, that is, at home.
“An interesting observation in this study was that children attending Montessori preschools also spent less time in sedentary behavior out of school, compared to children attending traditional preschools. This out-of-school sedentary behavior difference persisted even after adjusting for a child’s socioeconomic status and participation in after-school sports programs.”
Dr. Montessori observed that a child’s “freedom” was the keynote of her method: freedom to choose, freedom to work for long periods uninterrupted, freedom from his or her own bad habits (once transformed), freedom from adult pressure, and in this case, freedom to move. Truly, this is the holistic development every child seeks. That freedom takes root in a child’s personality, and so it's not surprising to discover children moved more at home, for they've been transformed.
Yes, Montessori kids are healthier. In body, mind and spirit.
To read the National Institute of Health’s study, click here.