There’s a piece going around from the Business Insider: 7 Tech Innovators Who Became Wildly Successful After Going To Montessori School. It’s pretty much a rework of Peter Sims 2011 Wall Street Journal piece, The Montessori Mafia, where he identified “Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales” and asked,
Is there something going on here? Is there something about the Montessori approach that nurtures creativity and inventiveness that we can all learn from?
It’s been well-shared, and it’s well worth the read. The Business Insider piece does a decent, if brief, job of explaining Montessori and lists the same tech giants as Sims did: Page, Brin, Bezos, Wales, and Wright, and two more: Henry Ford and Thomas Edison.
Wait, what? Ford and Edison went to Montessori school? Hmm, Henry Ford (1863-1947) was 43 years old in 1907—a little old for the Casa dei Bambini. Thomas Edison (1847-1932) was 60. Apparently Edison did say:
I like the Montessori method. It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being . . . The present system casts the brain into a mold. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning.
Which I did not know.
Interestingly, the WSJ article does mention Edison and Ford, but just as examples of innovative thinkers and inquisitive learners.
So this piece isn’t really news, and it doesn’t tell us anything new about Montessori. But it does tell us something about the Montessori brand in the public consciousness. Innovative. Inventors. Outside the box thinkers. Tech geniuses. Creative elite. If that’s what people are thinking when they hear “Montessori”, we could do a lot worse.