Document Type

Senior Honors Project

Publication Date



The Montessori education philosophy has been around for over 100 years but has become particularly popular in the United States in the last two decades. Montessori is characterized by its child-centered lens, promotion of independence, and support of a child's natural desire to learn. Montessori programs are often associated with wealthy families able to pay for private preschool, but the Montessori curriculum was originally developed and implemented with great success in low-income communities in early 20th century Rome. With this in mind, I determined to investigate the opportunity for using Montessori programs as a public health intervention in low-income communities. The central goal of the resulting project is the education of a general audience about the opportunity for existing Montessori programs in early childhood to serve as an intervention to decrease health disparities in later life. The resulting research paper comprises a literature review of relevant research, a discussion of the link between education and health outcomes, and interviews with Montessori educators and early childhood specialists. From this research, Montessori programs were found to have great potential to serve as an equalizer between children from low- and high-income communities, predicting future academic success, decreasing wealth gaps, and improving adult health outcomes.


Honors Program