Jane Sanders, formerly President of Burlington College, currently with the Vermont Economic Development Authority, and spouse of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, briefly name-checked Montessori this week in a conversation with education wunderkind Nikhil Goyal.
Goyal is a 21-year old education writer and advocate for progressive education with two books to his name: One Size Does Not Fit All: A Student’s Assessment of School, written when he was just 17 and still in high school, and Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Educational Malpractice, out this year. In an interview with Sanders, he brought up Montessori:
Goyal: Who do you think are some of your most influential heroes in education? Who are the people you’ve most been inspired by in your scholarly work?
Sanders: [John] Dewey, [William Heard] Kilpatrick, Robert Coles. One of the things I like are the people who focus on philosophy as the underpinning of their work.
Goyal: People like Maria Montessori, Dewey, Rudolf Steiner.
Sanders: I was a strong supporter of Montessori when my kids were very little. I homeschooled for a year, and then we did public school all the way through for the kids.
So there you have it. Sanders’ three adult children are from her first marriage, they aren’t public figures, and we don’t know much more about their education (not that we should). But it sounds like she got them off to a good start.