When most parents think back to their school days, they will likely recall desks in rows, plenty of worksheets and textbooks, as well as study guides that you had to memorize for tests. In fact, it's safe to assume that most of corporate America grew up in that kind of classroom environment. Those old-fashioned norms are in stark contrast to the teaching philosophy in Montessori classrooms. So just how do leaders develop in this setting that is so very different than what you likely grew up in?

The Montessori Multi-Age Classroom

Montessori classrooms vary from traditional classrooms in that students' ages can span a few years within one classroom. Older students serve as mentors, guiding the younger children in their learning. The older children hence develop leadership skills as they reinforce previously acquired skills through teaching the younger students. Montessori education is self-directed. Learning takes place in the form of active experiences of the child's choosing that involve exploration and questioning. Students enjoy their studies since they have a voice in the direction of their learning. That love of learning and continual growth translates into their professional lives as adults and promotes productive citizens and strong leaders. When kids grow up and get into "the real world," they will be working with people of all personality types and certainly of all ages. In fact, simple daily life requires them to socialize with people of various ages. 

Famous People with a Montessori Education

If you're still wondering "Why Montessori?", take some comfort in knowing that some very impressive people began their education in a Montessori school. Many of these well - noted authors, actors, and entrepreneurs attribute their success to the strong educational foundation that began in a Montessori school. Here's a list of several impressive leaders who attended Montessori schools as youth.

  • Anne Frank, author
  • Julia Child, renowned chef and author 
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Literature Nobel Prize winner 
  • Prince William and Prince Harry
  • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, wife of the late John F. Kennedy, former first lady
  • Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com
  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google
  • Katherine Graham, past owner of the Washington Post
  • Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs, hip hop pioneer
  • Berry Brazelton, best selling author and pediatrician

It's easy to see there's a lot of diversity in this list of famous people, but there are a few things they all have in common. They are or were trailblazers, innovators and unique in their own way. That's what Montessori did for them, and what it can do for your child too.