Synopsis of Research
Overall, the research concludes that the most common and successful
age range of children in a MAC is a difference of up to two years either
younger or older.
Montessori schools in the United States were centered around
the idea that students learn at their own rates.
Self-regulatory behavior improves when older students need to
remind younger students what the rules are.
Age-segregated classrooms are particularly difficult for children
whose development differs from the norm.
While some MACs have proven successful in upper grades
(MS/HS), there is minimal research in these areas at this time,
more extensive research can be found regarding implementation
at the elementary level.
The wider the age span in a group, the wider the range of
behavior and performance likely to be accepted and tolerated by
the adults as well as by the children themselves.
Students in a MAC experience less pressure to learn at a specified
rate. "A student who needs more time to master the continuum
of skills and concepts can spend two years in a class without
failing a grade or being held back."
Children's friendships both in classrooms and innaturalistic
settings have been one theme of the Multi-Age research. The
general picture that emerges from thesestudies is one of
increased competition and aggression within same-age groups
and increased harmony and nurturance within multiage groups.
When children and adolescents find themselves in a mixed-age
context, they associate and make friends across a relatively
wide age range
Children in anon-graded elementary school chose friends
from two years older to two years younger than themselves.
In the increasing number of high schools which are enrolling
adults in regular classes, friendships can cross generations. A
student in one such class commented, " I would love to