The Montessori Model and Creativity

  • David J. Fleming Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University
  • Brooke Taylor Culclasure Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University
  • Daniel Zhang Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Keywords: Montessori, creativity, creative potential, divergent thinking, convergent thinking, school choice


Prior research has demonstrated that the characteristics of school environments can impact the development of creativity in children. Thus, we explored the construct of creativity in the context of a Montessori environment. We used the Evaluation of Potential Creativity to measure creativity in children during one academic year. The study sample comprised 77 third-grade students at a Montessori public school in the southeastern United States and 71 demographically similar students at a traditional public school. Results show that Montessori students performed somewhat better on the Evaluation of Potential Creativity assessment than similar non-Montessori students did. Subgroup analyses indicate that male Montessori students demonstrated higher creativity than did male non- Montessori students. The findings of this study augment the body of research supporting creative development in Montessori children and suggest that researchers should continue to focus on the measurement of creativity in studies related to the efficacy of the Montessori model.

Author Biographies

David J. Fleming, Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University

David J. Fleming is an associate professor in politics and international affairs and a senior researcher with the Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University.

Brooke Taylor Culclasure, Richard W. Riley Institute at Furman University

Brooke Culclasure is the Riley Institute at Furman University’s research director.

Daniel Zhang, Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service

Daniel Zhang is a master’s candidate in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.


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