What do the founders of Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia have in common?
Like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Sigmund Freud, Buckminster Fuller, and Hilary and Bill Clinton before them, they all had early Montessori schooling. The founders of Google, Sergei Brin, and Larry Page both attended Montessori schools. Indeed, they both credit their Montessori education for much of their success. It was the Montessori experience, they claim, that made them self-directed, allowing them to think for themselves and pursue their real interests.
What is a Montessori education?
Montessori education is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. The inherent flexibility allows the method to adapt to the needs of the individual, regardless of the level of ability, learning style or social maturity.
The Montessori Approach
Dr. Montessori once said,
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age six; for that is the time when man’s intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play, it is work he must do in order to grow up.”
“I have studied the child. I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it and that is what is called the Montessori method.”
The Montessori approach offers a broad vision of education as an aid to life. It is designed to help children with their task of inner construction as they grow from childhood to maturity. It succeeds because it draws its principles from the natural development of the child. Its flexibility provides a matrix within which each individual child’s inner directives freely guide the child toward wholesome growth.
The Prepared Environment
Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work. The prepared environment offers the essential elements for optimal development. The key components comprise the children, teacher and physical surroundings including the specifically designed Montessori educational material.
The Montessori Teacher (Guide)
Patience Montessori teachers are selected for their professional talents and their constant and loving concern for the children in their charge. The trained guide is an artful organizer of experiences for the child to discover, process and practice. Constant and ongoing observation by the guide is the foundation of the Montessori program.
The Montessori Environment For Toddlers
In the Montessori environment even the youngest children are encouraged to be their unique and independent selves. Patience Montessori has Wobbler and Toddler classes where toddlers (13 months- 3 years) move toward physical independence with activities that revolve around self-care and food preparation. Setting the table, preparing the snack and cleaning the dishes gives toddlers in our program a sense that their work is important. By engaging in activities that allow children to “do it for themselves,” teachers will help foster a sense of accomplishment in the toddler.