Montessori Research

CLARA’s work in the area of Montessori research continues the center’s leadership in building a robust body of knowledge so that Montessori education and philosophy will benefit all children.  

child playing
children playing



Collaborate with scholars throughout the Montessori community and the fields of education and psychology, with particular emphasis on fostering connections across disciplines and areas of expertise.


Conduct high-quality research related to Montessori education with a critical perspective on philosophy, practices, and outcomes. This research will inform educational practices, improve educational environments for all children, and explore opportunities for unique applications of Montessori principles.


Engage in rigorous evaluation of Montessori-related programs, providing an independent point of view that examines the effectiveness of a variety of programs across the life span, from classrooms to national initiatives.


Advance high-quality research in the field with resources developed within a major research university. In this capacity, the center will lead efforts to build the growing body of knowledge related to Montessori education.


Disseminate Montessori-related research information to a wide audience of educators, school leaders, policymakers, and scholars, with the goal of creating an informed Montessori community as well as a voice for Montessori education in the broader field of education

Montessori Initiatives

Journal of Montessori Research

Journal of Montessori Research

The Journal of Montessori Research advances knowledge of Montessori education through empirical research studies, critical reviews of the literature, theoretical essays, and scholarly book reviews available in an open access forum. CLARA manages the production and editorial responsibilities for the journal which is a publication of the American Montessori Society with support from University of Kansas Libraries.
Montessori Bibliography logo

Montessori Bibliography Online 

The Montessori Bibliography Online is a database with over 45,000 citation entries aimed to make information about Montessori education and the Montessori movement more accessible. The database includes links to digitized source materials (where available) and consolidates references into a comprehensive repository with a robust search capability.
Montessori Research Working Group

Montessori Research Working Group

The Montessori Research Working Group is a collaboration of individuals who are actively engaged in Montessori research. The group was established in 2015 and has met annually since that time with the exception of the pandemic years. Since 2017, members of the group have met at KU each fall in a retreat to build community among Montessori researchers, collaborate on research, and pursue initiatives to move Montessori research forward.

Some of the key accomplishments that have emerged from the efforts of this group include: Montessori Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Montessori Logic Model, the Bloomsbury Handbook of Montessori Education, and the Global Montessori Census in addition to a number of other publications and collaborations.

Montessori Initiatives

Teacher Questionnaires of Montessori Practices (TQ-EC and TQ-EL)

The Teacher Questionnaires of Montessori Practices (TQ-EC and TQ-EL) were developed to measure Montessori implementation through Early Childhood (EC) and Elementary (EL) teachers’ reported instructional practices. While we do not suggest that these are finalized tools, we believe they provide a valuable starting point that is a vast improvement over the requirement of investigators to develop their own instruments as part of each Montessori study they design. The authors hope other researchers will incorporate these instruments into their studies to help build a robust body of evidence supporting their use.

Montessori Coaching Tool – Elementary (MCT-EL)

Becoming a competent Montessori Elementary guide is a complex process, so the Montessori Coaching Tool – Elementary (MCT-EL) offers rubric to describe teaching-practice expectations for self-reflection and formative feedback during the critical early period in a teacher’s development. The rubric is not to be used for performance evaluation, promotion, or retention but rather for early-career Montessori teachers’ self-reflection. It provides a framework for coaching conversations between the early-career Montessori teacher and a Montessori mentor.

Measure of Montessori Implementation – Early Childhood (MMI-EC)

Researchers wishing to draw conclusions about any aspect of Montessori education must establish the authenticity of the environments they wish to study. Since no widely accepted instrument exists, the Measure of Montessori Implementation – Early Childhood (MMI-EC) is being developed with the goal of creating an efficient, psychometrically sound observation tool which can ascertain the quality of Montessori early childhood environments, and which can be employed across multiple projects. Pilot study is underway in 100 classrooms in the fall of 2023 with support from the Brady Education Foundation.

Learner Agency Supportive Pedagogies, Fostering Creativity and Entrepreneurial Tendencies, Leveraging Learner Agency for Trauma Informed Care, Montessori Education