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About Montessori
Montessori:  An Education for Life

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was an educator who spent more than 50 years carefully observing children, discovering how children learn best, and developing methods and materials for teaching.  Her approach is child-centered.  The Montessori teacher is known as a “guide.”  One Montessori educator described her perspective this way:

It is the task of each child to develop himself into as complete a human being as possible.  All around us children are going about this task, sincerely and energetically, every day.  Nature has endowed these young children with wonderfully absorbent minds and acute sensitivities, allowing them to acquire certain kinds of knowledge and abilities more completely and easily before age six than at any time later in their lives.  How successfully each child accomplishes this task in these early years has a bearing not only on the amount of knowledge and skill he will have at his command in later years, but, more importantly, the attitudes toward himself, his world, and learning that he embraces.  Montessori education is based on a heart-felt respect for this task of the child, and on a careful observation of the process by which it is accomplished.  What we offer is a thoughtful response to this natural unfolding so that, in each case, it can be as successful and complete as possible.  Our goal for the child is the development of an attitude toward himself of confidence and esteem; toward the world, of care and respect; and toward learning, of joy and enthusiasm. 

from "An Education for Life" courtesy of Peter Davidson, Montessori School of Beaverton

The Montessori classroom and guide are carefully equipped to let children develop the full range of academic, social, and personal skills they need for success in life.

Montessori methods are becoming increasingly recognized, respected, and adopted in public schools across the United States. 

Montessori supporters include many famous and successful people:

People who were Montessori school students: People who chose Montessori  for their children:
Larry Page and Sergey Brin Google co-founders Bill Clinton former President
Jeff Bezos financial analyst,  Amazon.com founder Hillary Clinton Senator, Secretary of State
Katherine Graham owner/editor WashingtonPost John Bradshaw psychologist and author
Prince William and Prince Harry English royal family Willie Nelson musician – built Montessori sch. on ranch
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis editor, former first lady Stephen J. Cannell  TV writer producer director 
Julia Child, chef, author, media personality Susan St. James actress, activist
Anne Frank, child diarist of World War II Patty Duke Academy Award actress
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Nobel Prize  - Literature Michael Douglas  Actor, producer
T. Berry Brazelton, pediatrician, author Yul Brynner Best Actor, musician, author
Friedensreich Hundertwasser painter and architect Shari Lewis puppeteer, author 
George Clooney Academy Award actor Yo Yo Ma accomplished cellist
Melissa Gilbert actress, writer, producer David Blaine street magician, promoter
Joshua Bell American Stradivarius violinist Dick Ebersol television executive
Sean “P. Diddy” Combs  musician/promoter  
People with ties to Montessori education:  
Alexander Graham Bell  inventor, provided financial
support to Dr. Montessori. Helped establish the first
Montessori class in Canada and one of the first in U.S
President Wilson’s daughter Margaret  
  trained Montessori teacher –there was a Montessori    
  classroom in the White House during his presidency
Thomas Edison  scientist, inventor –  helped to found
a Montessori school
Bruno Bettelheim  psychologist/author –
   married to a Montessori teacher
Erik Erikson  anthropologist/author –   
  earned a Montessori teaching certificate
Jean Piaget  Swiss psychologist – made his first child
  observations in a Montessori school
Mister Rogers children's TV personality –
  strong advocate of Montessori education
Alice Waters  restaurateur, writer Montessori teacher


For further information about Montessori you may visit the following websites:

Suggested Reading:

  • Books by Dr. Maria Montessori
    • The Child in the Family
    • The Absorbent Mind 
  • Other Recommended Reading
    • Montessori: The Science Behind the Genius by Angeline Lillard
    • Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Kohn
    • Toilet Awareness by Sarah Moudry

Video:  NAMTA video excerpt (4 minutes)  Maria Montessori: Her Life and Legacy

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