With support from the Self Family Foundation, the Center for Education Policy and Leadership is conducting a five-year, comprehensive research study of public school Montessori education in South Carolina. Over the five-year period, the study will develop a full understanding of how public school Montessori programs impact a range of education stakeholders in South Carolina. Researchers will examine the impacts of the Montessori program on student achievement, discipline issues, progression, and affective learning outcomes; teachers’ perspectives on how Montessori impacts learning and teaching; principals’ perspectives on how Montessori impacts students and teachers; and parents’ satisfaction with Montessori programming.
Over the past five decades Montessori education has earned much acclaim within the private school community for its overall approach to teaching and student learning. Its entrance into public education has been slower, but over the past decade, Montessori has begun to gain a foothold in America’s public schools. With the considerable investment of the Self Family Foundation in public Montessori classrooms and in Lander University’s Montessori education program, South Carolina has become a national leader in public school Montessori, with more than 20 districts offering Montessori programs to about 4500 students. It is now critically important to the continued growth of public school Montessori that these programs be studied to understand their impacts.
In November 2012, SCETV's In Our Schools featured the growth of Montessori in South Carolina's public schools in its segment, "Montessori on the Move."