Resources for Montessori Research
Databases, bibliographies, ethical guides, and more.
We provide these resources in support of the growing number of researchers examining Montessori education. In addition to recommending useful research databases and sources of funding, we offer guidelines to help frame your work, and connections to other education organizations that can help you share your research results with the broader community.
The AMS Research Committee, with input from other active researchers, has developed guidelines to provide an ethical framework for individuals pursuing Montessori-related research. The guidelines were informed by models used by other organizations engaged in research involving children and educators and are aligned with the American Montessori Society’s Code of Ethics.
These guidelines will be taken into consideration when we review work such as conference presentation and poster session proposals, and applications for research awards and mini-grants, that is submitted to our organization.
Funding for Research
AMS Research Mini-Grants
Mini-grants of up to $3,500 support research that can bring fresh insight to Montessori education. There are 2 categories of mini-grants: To fund research studies related to Montessori education and to provide support for the presentation of Montessori research at non-Montessori conferences. Applicants must be current members of AMS who either have or are pursuing a postgraduate degree. If the application is from 2 or more researchers, at least 1 member of the team must be an AMS member. AMS employees and AMS Board directors are ineligible for the award. The Research Mini-Grants Program is administered by the AMS Research Committee, whose Mini-Grants Subcommittee is authorized to review proposals and recommend grant recipients.
AMS Dissertation & Thesis Awards
Annual awards of up to $1,000 are available for graduate-level research that furthers the understanding of Montessori education. Four awards are available each year: Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation (first and second place) and Outstanding Master’s Thesis (first and second place).
To apply, email the follow to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1, 2021:
- A cover page with your full name, the title of the paper, your postal mail address, email address, and phone number.
- A PDF of your dissertation or thesis that has been scrubbed of all identifying information.
- Evidence of paper being approved by your institution of higher education via:
- An electronic copy of the faculty signature page that demonstrates that the paper met the requirements for the dissertation or thesis.
- A letter from a university professor affirming that the dissertation or thesis was submitted and earned a passing grade.
AMS Grant-Giving Policy. It is the policy of AMS to cover indirect costs only to organizations with a negotiated federal research indirect rate, in which case indirect costs will be limited to 10% of direct costs.
Brady Education Foundation
The Brady Education Foundation funds research and program evaluations in early education with the goal of closing the achievement gap by increasing the school readiness of children living in poverty.
The Friedman Foundation
The Friedman Foundation works to educate the public and policymakers about school choice: what it is, how it works, and why it is needed. Periodically the organization issues calls for proposals to fund studies on the implications of choice and competition for K – 12 education.
National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Program
The Dissertation Fellowship Program seeks to encourage a new generation of scholars from a wide range of disciplines and professional fields to undertake research relevant to the improvement of education. These $27,500 fellowships support individuals whose dissertations show potential for bringing fresh and constructive perspectives to the history, theory, or practice of formal or informal education anywhere in the world.
This highly competitive program aims to identify the most talented researchers conducting dissertation research related to education. The Dissertation Fellowship program receives many more applications than it can fund. This year, up to 600 applications are anticipated and up to 35 fellowships will be awarded.
We've gathered these comprehensive bibliographies and databases to assist you in planning and conducting Montessori-related research.
- Research 101: Credibility
The purpose of this article is to describe scholarly research to the degree that when you encounter something labeled "research" in your daily life, you will be equipped to discern its credibility.
- ERIC Database
The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is free and offers an extensive, regularly updated, online digital library of education research and information. Sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, the database includes peer-reviewed journals, books, research syntheses, conference papers, technical reports, policy papers, and articles from Montessori Life.
- “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2014-2017 (Part 1)”
Published in Montessori Life (2018, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp. 48 – 53) by Janet Hall Bagby and Rachel Renbarger, this bibliography provides the most recent updates of the earlier reviews. The growing interest in Montessori is evident in the significant increase in the number of peer-reviewed articles published in non-Montessori journals from 2014 to 2017 compared to the previous 14 years
- “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2014-2017 (Part 2)”
Published in Montessori Life (2018, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 50 – 56) by Janet Hall Bagby and Rachel Renbarger, this bibliography provides the most recent updates of the earlier reviews. The growing interest in Montessori is evident in the significant increase in the number of peer-reviewed articles published in non-Montessori journals from 2014 to 2017 compared to the previous 14 years.
- “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2010 – 2013”
Published in Montessori Life (2014, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 32 – 41) by Janet Hall Bagby and Kevin Wells, this bibliography provides the most recent updates of the earlier reviews.
- “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 2007 – 2009”
Published in Montessori Life (2010, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 44 – 48) by Janet Hall Bagby and Natalie A. Jones, this bibliography updates the earlier review listed above.
- “Montessori Education and Practice: A Review of the Literature, 1996 – 2006”
Originally published in Montessori Life (2007, Vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 72 – 79), this annotated bibliography by Janet Hall Bagby lists articles about Maria Montessori and/or Montessori education that were published in non-Montessori periodicals.
Sometimes known as “teacher research,’ action research is a structured process that usually focuses on a specific problem, issue, or concern within a particular school or classroom, and through which educators identify and examine their own practices. The goal is to solve the problem and/or improve instruction and learning.
Read Sample Research
Visit our Research Library to read action research projects designed and conducted by practitioners in the field. You will also find a white paper with information about how to apply the basic principles of action research in Montessori classrooms.
Teacher and Heads of School Research Panel
To connect researchers with the Montessori community, AMS has created a research panel to support researchers’ work in contributing to the body of knowledge related to Montessori education. This research panel consists of Montessori educators who have volunteered to participate in up to 2 online research surveys a year.
If you are a researcher who would like to access these AMS members to participant in your online research, please contact Janet Bagby, a member of the AMS Research Committee at Janet_Bagby@Baylor.edu.
If you are interested in having your action research project considered for inclusion in our Research Library, and you are working under the supervision of a faculty advisor, this is the protocol to follow.
- If possible, discuss your desire to submit your work with your advisor or mentor while planning the project.
- Once your project is complete, have your faculty advisor or mentor review your work using the AMS Action Research Evaluation Rubric.
- If your advisor agrees that your project is a good candidate for inclusion in the Research Library, complete the AMS Action Research Submission Form and email it, along with the Evaluation Rubric, to email@example.com.
If you are working independently (i.e., not working under the supervision of a faculty advisor):
Spread Montessori Research
We are always working to create a strong Montessori presence within the greater education community, and you can help AMS spread the word. Consider getting involved in one or more of these national and international education organizations, including by submitting articles to their journals and magazines:
- American Educational Research Association (AERA)
AERA is a prominent international professional organization that advances educational research and its practical application. AERA’s more than 26,000 members represent the fields of education, psychology, statistics, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, anthropology, and political science. A Montessori Education Special Interest Group (SIG) now exists within AERA to highlight Montessori research and provide opportunities to connect with other Montessori researchers. And, join us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
ACEI’s global mission is to support the optimal education and development of children from birth through early adolescence and to influence the professional growth of educators and the efforts of others committed to the needs of children in a changing society.
- Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)
ASCD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization representing more than 175,000 educators from 119 countries and nearly 60 affiliates. ASCD addresses effective teaching and learning through broad, multiple perspectives on professional development, educational leadership, and capacity building across all education professions.
- Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)
The Council for Exceptional Children is a professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the success of children with exceptionalities through advocacy, standard-setting, and professional development.
- Division for Early Childhood (DEC)
The Division for Early Childhood promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (birth through age 8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities.
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for children from birth through age 8. The world’s largest organization working on behalf of young children, NAEYC has nearly 100,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state, and regional affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.