A Montessori education is a bit like taking everything we ever think of when we think of "school" -- grades, punitive discipline, tests, rote memorization -- and turning it upside down. Since most Montessori schools are private, they are cost prohibitive for many people, which is unfortunate because an incredibly disproportionate number of successful people were educated using the Montessori system.
The Wall Street Journal calls them the "Montessori Mafia" and it is a bit shocking. Among some of the people who went to Montessori schools as kids:
Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, video game pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Julia Child and rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.
As someone who spent all of my preschool and elementary years until fifth grade in a Montessori school, I believe it. The educational method was founded by Maria Montessori more than a century ago and everything is collaborative. There are no grades or tests. All the classrooms are multi-aged classrooms and involve self-directed learning in different "stations" as well as discovery blocks for young children ages 2 1/2 to 7.
The extensive, six-year study about the way creative business executives think revealed that so many of them had attended Montessori schools. Professors Jeffrey Dyer of Brigham Young University and Hal Gregersen of globe-spanning business school INSEAD surveyed over 3,000 executives and interviewed 500 people who had either started innovative companies or invented new products.
It stands to reason. Now, of course, I am scrambling to figure out how to get my kids into the local Montessori school rather than sending them to the public school. The fact is, it works. Montessori only goes to 8th grade, but all the kids I knew who went to one think outside the box. We are all confident and creative and independent, all the things any parent hopes their child will be.
The Montessori method seems to really foster this.
Would you send your child to a Montessori school?
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