Is there anything to this study on Montessori and adult well-being? Or just a bunch of bologna?—Bologna Fairy
This study is a standard observational study in which it’s more or less impossible to separate correlation from causation. The researchers took 1,900 adults, asked them some standard questions on well-being, and recorded what type of school they went to. They find that those who went to a Montessori school had higher well-being scores. However: the family background of the two groups is wildly different. As one example, 45% of the kids in the Montessori sample have a parent with a post-college degree, versus only 17% in the control group.
The authors adjust for some of these differences, but it’s extremely difficult to imagine that they are able to adjust for all of them. As a result, it seems likely that most or all of the differences they associate with Montessori school are just driven by family background.
Bottom line: it’s a bunch of bologna.