The Science Behind Montessori

This is a summary I wrote for Nido BCN.  If you are interested in their project please visit www.nidobcn.com.

Does a Montessori education really make a difference?

Scientific studies into the long-term impact of a Montessori education are very promising. Aside from anecdotal evidence from Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google who credited their successful collaboration to their similar experiences and educational development at Montessori preschools1, scientific research also supports the long-term benefits of a Montessori education.

A study based in Milwaukee, USA, found that children who completed their education in a Montessori school between the ages of 3 – 11, scored significantly higher on standardised tests in maths and science compared to children who received a standard education2.

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What if you were unconsciously sexist?

The facebook page, “I fucking love science” has over 4.8 million fans.  Many of whom were surprised or even shocked to find out last month that the writer was a woman and apparently an attractive one at that.  But is this sexual stereotyping something that we all do, consciously or otherwise?

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What if we could improve science by sending scientists back to school?

photo taken from getBRAINY website

According to recent reports young people aren’t attracted to science.  Added to which, there are not enough women in science, nor men, depending on whom you ask.  And those we do have are often criticised for not being very good at communicating their ideas to non-scientists, or for not being inspirational enough for our young people.

But what can we do about it?  It often falls to teachers to make science understandable, interesting and attractive to their students; but isn’t it time that scientists did their bit?  Well, a team of neuroscientists, led by Gareth Hathway and Ian Devonshire, at Nottingham University has done just that by sending a group of undergraduate students back to school and they were at the BNA2013 festival to explain their findings.

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What if there was an App for collecting research for your PhD?

Image taken from digitaltrends.com

Collecting data from people is often a battle. Subjects don’t turn up, drop out, or your sample is only representative of all the people you could bribe or blackmail into filling out your questionnaire. But there is hope, and as with so many useful tools these days, it comes in the form of a free downloadable app.

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What if you could diagnose language difficulties before a child could talk?

It is generally accepted that early diagnosis improves recovery, or, in the case of developmental difficulties, enables us to help a child develop to his or her full potential. But language difficulties may not be picked up until a child is already behind his or her peer group in terms of linguistic ability. So, finding early markers prior to the onset of speech would be ideal for enabling early intervention.
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