Resources

Earth day group

Resources

A DIFFERENT KIND OF INNOVATION

"Maria Montessori, a genius scientist who founded Montessori schools, engaged in an entirely different kind of innovation. Yet earth-shattering it was. Montessori originated a transformation through the prism of an idea. Not only was her idea radical, her process for achieving insight was equally radical. And it was simple: It came from walking in someone else’s shoes. " By Roberta Ness, for the Houston Chronicle

INNOVATORS

“A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity. To paraphrase the famous Apple ad campaign, innovators not only learned early on to think different, they act different (and even talk different).”

– “How Do Innovators Think?”, Harvard Business Review

LEADERSHIP LESSONS

“One of the most important influences early on was being educated in a Montessori setting. The Montessori ethos was very formative for me because it built into me a belief in self-direction, in independent thought, in peer collaboration, in responsibility.”

TIME MAGAZINE

Time Magazine, covering an influential 2007 report on the American workforce, puts it bluntly:

“As Americans worry about whether some fraction of our children get ‘left behind’… an entire generation of kids [is failing] to make the grade in the global economy because they can’t think their way through abstract problems, work in teams, distinguish good information from bad, or speak a language other than English.”

And why? According to the report, our educational system is still focused on teaching skills in a world where skills quickly become outdated, automated or offshored-for-less. Value now lies in creativity and innovation, life literacy, global orientation and cross-cultural abilities. The study concludes, “The core problem is that our education and training systems were built for another era. …It is not possible to get where we have to go by patching that system.”

And so it is not.

Montessori is not an adaptation of traditional methods, it’s a completely different way of teaching and learning. Many of its core ideas correspond directly to recommendations in this and other studies. It’s an approach that acknowledges it is how—and not what—we learn that most shapes the developing personality. While independent studies show that Montessori students perform academically as well or better than more traditionally educated peers, we believe it’s their demonstrably better life skills that best prepare our young people for a complex and fast-changing world.