Recent News

Dr. Lillard spoke to the Vancouver Island Montessori Association (VIMA) in Victoria, British Columbia.

Dr. Lillard was cited in a recent media article on the impact of Montessori education: A Public School Makes the Case for 'Montessori for All' Edutopia, April 25, 2019.



Post doc Dermina Vasc organized an Undergraduate Research Conference where undergraduate students involved in developmental psychology research in the department presented their projects. Some of our very own research assistants participated as well!

Mary and Parsa presented their poster titled "Young Children on Why Children Engage in Pretend and Real Activities" with their graduate student mentor Jess

Rana presented her poster titled "How to Wash a Table: Montessori Teaching in the Lab" with her mentor Dermina

Hyerin presented her poster titled "The Role of Mothers in Children's Physical and Digital Spatial Play" with her graduate student mentor Sierra

Dr. Lillard spoke at George Mason University in Washington D.C.

Dr. Lillard spoke at the Montessori Institute of North Texas and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.

Dr. Lillard spoke to the Massachusetts Montessori Teachers' Association in Boston, MA.


Dr. Lillard spoke at the Forest Bluff School in Lake Bluff, IL

Graudate student Jessica Taggart and Dr. Lillard wrote an article about pretend play and real activities for the Child and Family Blog: "Pretend play is less beneficial for early child development than play that's rooted in real life" Child & Family Blog , November 19, 2018

Graduate student Sierra Eisen was awarded an American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award!

More news articles about Jeff Bezos's plan for Montessori preschools have recently cited Dr. Lillard and collegues' studies:

Dr. Lillard was interviewed by Michele Molnar from EdWeek Market Brief, and was quoted in the following article about the announcement from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that he is contributing $2 billion to start "Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities": "Amazon's Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Fund for Preschools, Homeless Families" EdWeek Market Brief, September 13, 2018

Dr. Lillard, along with Dr. Ann-Marie Faria and Ms. Karen Manship at the American Institutes for Research, received funding from the Institute of Education Sciences to conduct the first federally-funded study devoted to Montessori education. Click here to read more!

Graduate student Sierra Eisen was awarded the American Psychological Association Division 15 Dissertation Research Grants Award!

Dr. Lillard spoke to the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators in Toronto.

The Early Development Lab members celebrated the end of another productive year! Thank you to all the families and schools that have participated in our studies, and we look forward to the exciting new studies we are running this summer and beyond!

Dr. Lillard spoke as a keynote speaker at the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) 2018 in Amsterdam, and spoke to teacher trainers in the Annual General Meeting.

Distinguished Majors Daniel Yonas and Meghan Ellwood presented their honors theses at the L. Starling Reid Undergraduate Psychology Research Conference in Charlottesville, VA!

Dan gave a talk titled "Do Second Thoughts Matter? Children's Moral Evaluations of Characters with Conflicted Thoughts"

Meghan presented her poster titled "Shall We Pretend? Parents Ask More Questions and Take on Different Roles During Pretend Versus Real Interactions with Children"

Dr. Lillard attended the American Montessori Society Conference in Denver. She spoke as a Keynote Speaker at the Teacher Trainer preconference on March 21st, and had a presentation and book sigining on the other days.

The 2017 study by graduate student Jess Taggart, former laboratory coordinator MJ Heise, and Dr. Lillard showing that children prefer to do actual activities rather than their pretend counterparts has been picked up by more media outlets:

Dr. Lillard spoke in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dr. Lillard spoke at the Chesterfield Montessori School in St. Louis, Missouri.

The longitudinal Montessori study conducted by Megan J. Heise, Eve Richey, Xin Tong, Alyssa Hart, Paige Bray, and Dr. Lillard, published last October, was the most viewed article of 2017 in Frontiers of Psychology!
More media outlets have mentioned this study in 2018: