Beyond executive functions, creativity skills benefit academic outcomes: Insights from Montessori education

Autoři: Solange Denervaud aff001;  Jean-François Knebel aff003;  Patric Hagmann aff004;  Edouard Gentaz aff001
Působiště autorů: The Center for Affective Sciences (CISA), Campus Biotech, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland aff001;  Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FAPSE), University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland aff002;  The Laboratory for Investigative Neurophysiology (The LINE), Department of Radiology and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne (CHUV-UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland aff003;  Connectomics Lab, Department of Radiology, Lausanne University Hospital and University of Lausanne (CHUV-UNIL), Lausanne, Switzerland aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225319


Studies have shown scholastic, creative, and social benefits of Montessori education, benefits that were hypothesized to result from better executive functioning on the part of those so educated. As these previous studies have not reported consistent outcomes supporting this idea, we therefore evaluated scholastic development in a cross-sectional study of kindergarten and elementary school-age students, with an emphasis on the three core executive measures of cognitive flexibility, working memory update, and selective attention (inhibition). Two hundred and one (201) children underwent a complete assessment: half of the participants were from Montessori settings, while the other half were controls from traditional schools. The results confirmed that Montessori participants outperformed peers from traditional schools both in academic outcomes and in creativity skills across age groups and in self-reported well-being at school at kindergarten age. No differences were found in global executive functions, except working memory. Moreover, a multiple mediations model revealed a significant impact of creative skills on academic outcomes influenced by the school experience. These results shed light on the possibly overestimated contribution of executive functions as the main contributor to scholastic success of Montessori students and call for further investigation. Here, we propose that Montessori school-age children benefit instead from a more balanced development stemming from self-directed creative execution.

Klíčová slova:

Attention – Cognition – Creativity – Children – Problem solving – Schools – Working memory – Schoolchildren


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Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 11