If I were to ask if you have ever heard of Will Wright, Larry Page or Sergey Brin, more than likely there would be a resounding “no!” Perhaps I could throw out some easier names like The Sims, Sim City, Amazon, and Google, could you say you know of them? Okay to be fair the last line was somewhat rhetorical. Will Wright is the video game pioneer that created “The Sims” and “Sim City,” Larry Page and Sergey Brin together founded Google; all three men also were Montessori educated.
My point is that these days society places emphasis on the brand and not the people behind it, with a few exceptions. Had I included Steve Jobs in my initial question, that name would have been more recognizable as well as the brand “Apple.”
Recently I was in a conversation with a guy who was contemplating the best place for his daughter to attend school. Seizing the opportunity, I asked him if he had ever considered Montessori. His first response was “Isn’t that some sort of religious place?” This is not the first nor do I suspect the last time that I will experience this type of utterance for someone when talking about Montessori. It seems that the brand “Montessori” is still misunderstood by soon-to-be parents, current parents, as well as society. Providing tools that create the foundation for learning for the child is such a small window that the misunderstanding of the Montessori Method already hedges bets against more children enjoying its benefits.
What we can do to advance the awareness of Maria Montessori’s method for children’s education in everyday life will assist in e-establishing the “brand.” Larry Page once said, “Being self-motivated, questioning what’s going on in the world and doing things a little bit differently” were part of the reason Google was and has been so successful. He credits that to his Montessori education from early on. If those people—educators, parents, or students behind the scenes of a Montessori school each day—try to shed a brighter light on the benefits of the method then a transformation will inevitably take place and the “brand” as well as the people behind it. I make a conscientious attempt every day to insert some aspect of Montessori teaching into my interactions with others. Do you? Will you?