Montessori Education

Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the most important educators of the twentieth century. The fundamental idea behind her philosophy is that the child is not merely considered a student but is seen as a unique human being who should be helped to build himself and his life accordingly. In order to fully develop physical, intellectual, emotional and social capabilities, children require freedom, which is achieved through order and self-discipline. Montessori also believed that children were more capable of ‘doing’ and learning than others of her time believed. For this reason, a comprehensive and stretching curriculum was designed.

At Meadowbrook, Montessori’s core ethos remains strong. We practise an innovative and progressive hybrid approach to learning to fully prepare our  graduates for various secondary school settings and to ensure that the original ethos fits in with life in the present day.

Montessori acknowledged that the only valid impulse to learn is self-motivation itself. She believed that children possess a natural motivation to learn and absorb knowledge without effort if given the right kind of activities, at the right time of their development.

True Montessori settings provide children with a safe, carefully-planned and structured environment where they can work and learn, using specially designed didactic materials.

Following the guidance of Montessori’s philosophy, teachers should not only expose their students to academic work but nurture their emotional, social and moral growth and development. It is for this reason that Montessori education is often defined as ‘education for life’.

Montessori vs Conventional School

Changing Educational Paradigms

Famous Montessori Alumni

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS

Former first lady and doubleday editor

As a child, the former First Lady attended Miss Chapin’s School for Girls in Manhattan. Miss Chapin was a pioneer in education for girls; she attended Dr Montessori’s New York lectures in the 1930s and enthusiastically included Montessori methods in her classrooms.

JOSHUA BELL

JOSHUA BELL

Grammy award-winning violinist and subject of a Pulitzer prize-winning media story

A world-renowned violinist, Joshua Bell is thoughtful about the role his music plays in society. In a cultural experiment turned Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post story, it is Bell’s humility, not his virtuosity, that most inspires. In suspending his fame to explore the true meaning of his work, Bell exhibits Montessori thinking at its best.

T BERRY BRAZELTON

T BERRY BRAZELTON

Paediatrician, child psychiatrist, author and harvard medical school professor emeritus

Dr. Brazelton’s positive, child-oriented philosophy of parenting has influenced countless families to raise children who are “confident, caring, and hungry to learn”. Brazelton attended a Montessori school as a child and now supports Montessori philosophy through his lectures and publications.

PETER DRUCKER

PETER DRUCKER

Author, Management consultant, “social ecologist”, awarded the presidential medal of freedom

Peter Drucker, once a Montessori child, is one of the most influential management gurus in history. His work focuses on human relationships as opposed to numbers-crunching; his books are filled with lessons on how organisations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find dignity and community in their work.

ANNE FRANK

ANNE FRANK

Memoirist & author

Anne Frank’s famous diary is a natural extension of her school experience. She—like all Montessori students—learned to cultivate observation skills and record her thoughts in a journal early on. Diary of a Young Girl has been translated into 67 languages and is one of the best loved books in the world today.

HELEN HUNT

HELEN HUNT

Academy award-winning actress

Helen Hunt, winner of some big time honors (Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe all one year—a feat nearly unmatched in history) is one cool Montessorian. Which makes her observation all the more interesting: “If there’s a message, it’s that the unlovable and unattractive parts of ourselves should be embraced. The only real currency between people is what happens when they’re not cool.”

TAYLOR SWIFT

TAYLOR SWIFT

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter

Taylor Swift, country music’s youngest-ever Entertainer of the Year, attended Alvernia Montessori School in Berks County Pa. The singer is widely described as “the product of homegrown values”; New York Times calls her “one of pop’s finest songwriters, country music’s foremost pragmatist, and more in touch with her inner life than most adults”.

HELEN KELLER

HELEN KELLER

Political activist, author, lecturer, awarded the presidential medal of freedom, one of gallup’s most widely admired people of the 20th century

Maria Montessori said that if deaf and blind, Helen Keller became “a woman and writer of exceptional culture, who better than she proves the potency of [the Montessori] method?” In her tribute to Montessori, Helen’s teacher observes, “Only through freedom can people develop self control, self dependence, willpower and initiative. This is the lesson Helen’s education has for the world.”

MELISSA GILBERT

MELISSA GILBERT

Actress, Former SAG President

YO YO MA

YO YO MA

United nations Peace Ambassador, winner of 15 Grammy Awards, Presidential Medal of Freedom & National Medal of the Arts

A child prodigy cellist and Montessori student, Yo Yo Ma learned early to follow his own interests and think outside traditional definitions. Today, critics call his artistic style “omnivorous” in reference to his versatility, his notably eclectic repertoire and his musical iconoclasm.

SEAN “P Diddy” COMBS

SEAN “P Diddy” COMBS

Grammy award-winning musician, rap recording artist and ceo of bad boy records

The multi-talented hip hop artist Sean “P Diddy” Combs says he feels fortunate to have attended Mount Vernon Montessori School during his childhood, recalling that, “I feel like I was nurtured into wanting to be somebody special”.

HM QUEEN NOOR of JORDAN

HM QUEEN NOOR of JORDAN

U.N. Advisor, humanitarian activist, memoirist and wife of the late king hussein of Jordan

Her Majesty Queen Noor is an international public servant and an outspoken voice on issues of world peace and justice. Her orientation toward peace directly reflects Maria Montessori’s—herself a three-time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee whose “education for peace” philosophy underpins our approach.

SERGEY BRIN & LARRY PAGE

SERGEY BRIN & LARRY PAGE

Google founders

“You can’t understand Google,” says Wired, “unless you know [its founders] were Montessori kids… In a Montessori school, you paint because you have something to express or you just want to… not because the teacher said so. This is baked into Larry and Sergey… it’s how their brains were programmed early on.”

DEVI SRIDHAR

DEVI SRIDHAR

Youngest-ever American Rhodes scholar, author, oxford research fellow, oxford lecturer on global health politics

At 18, Devi Sridhar (a former Montessorian) spoke five languages, played both tennis and the violin expertly, and co-wrote a book on Indian mythology. In 2002 she became the youngest Rhodes Scholar in the program’s 100-year history. Interested in health as a young person, she now directs CEG’s global health governance project.

PRINCE WILLIAM & PRINCE HARRY

PRINCE WILLIAM & PRINCE HARRY

English royal family

PRINCESS EUGENIE OF YORK

PRINCESS EUGENIE OF YORK

English royal family

BEYONCE KNOWLES

BEYONCE KNOWLES

Singer, songwriter, actress and fashion designer, 16-time Grammy award-winner

In Houston, at St. Mary of the Purification Montessori, Beyoncé’s talents first emerged. In a school that valued both art and academics, a top student and world-class performer was born. Today Beyoncé has been nominated for more Grammys than anyone in history and is one of pop music’s most highly-regarded figures.

JULIA CHILD

JULIA CHILD

Celebrity chef & author

A student of Mrs Davie’s Montesorri School in Pasadena California, Ms Child exuded a sense of fun and inspired others to try new things in the kitchen. She credits a Montessori background with her manual dexterity—a key feature of her mastery as a chef—and with the love and joy she found in her work.

JOHN and JOAN CUSACK

JOHN and JOAN CUSACK

Actor and screenwriter, and Academy award-nominated actress, respectively

This sister-brother team, each of whom also has a hefty solo reputation, are not conventional heroes. That the former Montessorians’ work is described as “idiosyncratic”, “offbeat” and “fiercely original” is consistent with their belief in “a kind of Joseph Campbell theory of pursuing bliss. Whatever excites you is what you should be doing”.

GEORGE CLOONEY

GEORGE CLOONEY

Academy award-winning actor, director, producer, humanitarian, United nations messenger of peace

Good pre-school pays off: Harvard economists say kindergartners with great teachers earn more later (and are more likely to attend college and own a home) than others. So what defines “good”? Turns out Montessori’s approach—unfolding students, not moulding them—guides the most successful teachers. George Clooney? Montessori pre-schooler.

DAVID BLAINE

DAVID BLAINE

Illusionist & magician

David Blaine was a four-year old Montessori student when he fell in love with magic. Today he’s called “the modern day Houdini” by The New York Times, which says, “He’s taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it… [His magic] “operates on an uncommonly personal level.”

ANTHONY DOERR

ANTHONY DOERR

Author

This internationally-acclaimed American author was once a Montessori student of Post Oak’s Head of School, John Long. The sense of wonder that infuses his luminous, precisely-crafted prose is evidence of the gifts, and the love of nature, that were nurtured in him from childhood.

To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator.

Maria Montessori

ERIK ERIKSON

ERIK ERIKSON

Psychologist & author

The Danish-German-American psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on human social development, Erikson may be most famous for coining the phrase “identity crisis”. He found Montessori ideas so compelling that studied them as an adult, acquiring a Montessori teaching certificate but never teaching in a classroom.

KATHARINE GRAHAM

KATHARINE GRAHAM

Pulitzer prize-winning author and Former owner & editor of the Washington Post

Crisis forced Katherine Graham to assume control of the Washington Post. Her confidence faltered but—remembering that what matters is how people learn, not what they know—Graham said, “The Montessori method, learning by doing, once again became my stock in trade.” Her reign at the highly-regarded paper lasted more than two decades.

DAKOTA FANNING

DAKOTA FANNING

Actress

This youngest-ever Screen Actors Award nominee, history’s youngest Academy member, recalls: “I learned to read at two…in a Montessori school where they teach you to read really, really young.” Montessori kids are not technically taught to read (reading skills just emerge in the right environment, we think), but they work at their own pace in age-diverse groups—not in curriculum-dictated lockstep with same-age peers. For Fanning, autonomy led to early achievement throughout her life.

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

Nobel prize-winning author

Marquez said his Montessori education gave him “the desire to kiss literature” and states, “I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”

FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER

FRIEDENSREICH HUNDERTWASSER

Viennese artist & architect

This world-renowned Austrian painter and architect attended a Montessori school in Vienna, which influenced both his affinity for vibrant colour and his love of nature. He collected pebbles and pressed flowers as a child, demonstrating an early interest in small, precious things—which later manifested itself in his work.

WILL WRIGHT

WILL WRIGHT

Video game pioneer, creator of the Sims

The videogame innovator says Montessori was the “imagination amplifier” that prepared him for creating The Sims, Sim City, Spore and Super Mario Brothers. “SimCity comes right out of Montessori… It’s all about learning on your own terms.”

JEFF BEZOS

JEFF BEZOS

Amazon founder

Amazon’s founder, who proudly cites his Montessori roots, is a study in contradictions: analytical and intuitive, careful and audacious, playful and determined. Critics note his extraordinary ability to learn from others, one hallmark of Montessori education.

SERENA GUNN

SERENA GUNN

Director of Education / Co-Director of Meadowbrook Montessori School (!)

PRINCE GEORGE

PRINCE GEORGE

Heir to the Throne!

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Meadowbrook School

01344 890869

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