menu

When Curiosity Counts

When Curiosity Counts
culture

Without tests or grades, one school of thought challenges our views of education, and has the alumni to prove their point.

Timothy Ryan, PSFK Labs
  • 7 april 2011

Far from the cries for accountability amongst teachers, and better performances on standardized tests, a century-old school of thought is setting its own benchmarks for students. And given a few of its successful alumni, we may have good reason to start paying attention.

The Montessori learning method consists of collaborative learning environments intended to foster creativity amongst students. There are no grades or tests; instead, classes include lengthy, self-directed learning periods of discovery to spur spontaneous self-development. With an emphasis encouraging creativity during the early developmental years,  students are between the ages 2 1/2 to 7, and each classroom is an amalgam of all ages.

One need only look at a few of the school’s disproportionate representation amongst the creative elite for good evidence of the method’s success. Its alumni include Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergei Brin, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, videogame pioneer Will Wright, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, rapper Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, and Julia Child. When asked about his schooling, Larry Page believes that it helped him to ‘think differently’.

Maria Montessori founded the first school of its kind in Rome, 1907. As she explains:

“Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. Human teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master. Doing so, they will be witnesses to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Man who will not be a victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society”.

Perhaps in contrast to traditional approaches to education, students aren’t judged by the answers they get wrong.  After all, some of the most respected entrepreneurs in history have attributed all of their success, to the many times they’ve failed.

Montessori

The Wall-Street Journal: “The Montessori Mafia”

Image by Zen Granny

 

Trending

Machine Printer Uses Coffee Drips To Create Intricate Portraits

Arts & Culture
Technology Yesterday

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Yesterday

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Reece Pacheco

Video Content, Predictive Analytics

Food Yesterday

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

Fitness & Sport Yesterday

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 1, 2016

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Syndicated Yesterday

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Yesterday

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Yesterday

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Yesterday

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

Media & Publishing Yesterday

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Yesterday

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.