A colleague tipped me off (not to Beyoncé, I’ve heard of her) to an American Public Media Marketplace piece about the business of Bey, which cited her curiosity and habit of life-long learning. I remember hearing that too, although it’s not in the transcript up at Marketplace.org. Also not mentioned was the pop star’s time through 3rd grade at St. Mary of the Purification Catholic School, formerly St. Mary’s Montessori School and still offering at least a Children’s House Montessori program. But could we attribute some of that “life-long-learner” attitude to Montessori? Yes, I think we can.
Beyoncé is on that widely-shared, often poorly-sourced list of “famous Montessori alumni” you can find on almost every school’s website, including:
- the “Google Guys”, Sergey Brin and Larry Page
- New York Times publisher Katharine Graham
- Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales — oh, wait, maybe not…
I’m always a little skeptical of these lists. Did they really go to Montessori school? (Jimmy Wales says no.) How Montessori was it? How long were they there? Did it really make that much of a difference? (The Google Guys say yes.) What about the hundreds of thousands of ordinary Montessori children who did nothing more remarkable than go on to lead fulfilling, well-adjusted lives and contribute to their communities. (And how long before the name gets linked to some kind of high-profile disaster or scandal? Will it be good press then?)
And it’s hard to track down the references, since Google just brings up all the lists people have already posted, citations sorely needed. But I have come across a pretty good list, with links to (at least!) the relevant Wikipedia articles. It’s here, at the Post Oak School in Houston*. For whatever it’s worth.
* Beyoncé’s home town, so put her on the list of famous creative Houstonians, if that counts for anything…