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Famous American Montessori Alumni

Illustrated infographic with facts about and actual photos of famous graduates of Montessori schools.

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Montessori is a child-centered education style that celebrates hands-on learning and collaborative play. It’s thought to foster creativity and independence – and these famous alumni are proof of that!

Some of the things Montessori education prioritizes:

  • the arts
  • hands-on learning
  • outdoor play
  • peace education

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Famous American Montessori Alumni

Larry Page & Sergey Brin – Google Founders

Both went to Montessori school and say it was Montessori education that contributed to their independent thinking and success.

“I think it was part of that training of not following rules and orders, and being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently.” Larry Page [1]

There are more than 4,000 Montessori schools in the United States.

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter – Singer, Songwriter

Beyoncé attended St. Mary of the Purification Montessori in Houston until the third grade. [2]

In 2013, The New Yorker called Beyoncé “the most important and compelling popular musician of the twenty-first century.”[3]

Dakota Fanning – Actor

Fanning reportedly learned to read at age two while attending a Montessori school in Georgia.[4]

At age eight, she appeared in her first film, “I am Sam,” for which she won “Best Young Performer” from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Jeff Bezos – Founder and CEO of Amazon

Teachers at Bezos’ Montessori preschool said that he became so engrossed in his tasks that they’d have to pick up his chair, with him still in it, to move him on to the next activity.[5]

Amazon recently hit $1,000,000,000,000 in value.[6]

Will Wright – Creator of “The Sims” videogame

Wright said that Montessori methods inspired him to invent an entirely new video game genre – nonviolent, open-ended games.[7]

“Montessori taught me the joy of discovery. It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori.”[8]

There’s a Montessori school on every continent except Antarctica.

Julia Child – Chef, TV personality, Author

As a student of Mrs. Davie’s Montessori School [9] in Pasadena, Calif., Child credited Montessori for her hand dexterity, which was vital for her career as a chef.

Katharine Graham – Former owner of and editor for the Washington Post

Graham attended a Montessori school until the fourth grade.[10] There, the future newspaper owner learned to read, which sparked a love that would drive her career.

“The Montessori method – learning by doing – once again became my stock in trade.”

Montessori’s History

“The greatest sign of success for a teacher… is to be able to say, ’The children are now working as if I did not exist.’”

In 1907, Maria Montessori opened her first classroom, the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House, in a tenement building in Rome. Empowering young minds to think for themselves is central to the Montessori method. The Italian-born educator was also a trained physician and authored several books on the theory and practice of teaching.

Learn how to apply Montessori philosophy in your classroom by educating students through self-expression, collaboration and discovery. Campbell University’s fully online Montessori teacher education program allows you to deepen your knowledge of the educational philosophy to meet your job’s demands.

 

Sources:

  1. businessinsider.com/tech-innovators-who-went-to-montessori-school-2014-3
  2. Valdés, Mimi. “The Metamorphosis.” Vibe, 2002, pp. 114–122.
  3. newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/her-highness
  4. imdb.com/name/nm0266824/bio
  5. Stone, Brad. “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” Little, Brown, 2013. p.
  6. nytimes.com/2018/09/04/technology/amazon-stock-price-1-trillion-value.html
  7. ted.com/talks/will_wright_makes_toys_that_make_worlds
  8. Seabrook, John. “Flash of Genius: And Other True Stories of Invention.” St. Martin’s Press, 2008. p. 54.
  9. Fitch, Noel Riley. “Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child. Anchor Books, 1997.
  10. Graham, Katherine. “Personal History.” Vintage, 1998. p. 42.