The teaching style of Dr. Maria Montessori is meant to spark creativity, initiative, and self-confidence in children. With that in mind, it is no wonder that there are so many notable former Montessori students. Below is a list of just a few Montessori students you may have heard of.
- SEAN “PUFF DADDY” COMBS, Music Producer/Entrepreneur
- JIMMY WALES, founder of Wikipedia
- TAYLOR SWIFT, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter
- PRINCE HARRY and PRINCE WILLIAM, sons of Charles, Prince of Wales
- HELEN HUNT, Actor, winner of some big-time honors (Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe)
- DAKOTA FANNING, Actor
- DEVI SRIDHAR, Youngest American Rhodes Scholar
- BEYONCE KNOWLES, Singer, songwriter, actress,16-time Grammy award-winner
- CHELSEA CLINTON, daughter of Bill & Hillary Clinton
- ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL founded two of the first Montessori schools Canada.
- MISTER ROGERS, Television Personality & Strong Supporter of Montessori Education
- JEAN PIAGET, Noted Swiss Psychologist and Head of the Swiss Montessori Society
- THOMAS EDISON, Scientist, Inventor and Founder of a Montessori School
- MELISSA and SARAH GILBERT, actors
- PRINCE GEORGE, son of William and Kate
LARRY PAGE and SERGEY BRIN, founders of Google
Google, the Internet search engine, was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They had been friends since childhood but when asked if it was the fact that their parents were both college professors being the reason for their success, they said no, that it was their going to a Montessori school where they learned to be self-directed and self-starters. They said that Montessori education allowed them to learn to think for themselves and gave them freedom to pursue their own interests. Larry Page and Sergey Brin credit their success to attending a Montessori Preschool that taught them to think outside the box.
JEFF BEZOS, founder of Amazon
Jeffrey Preston Bezos (born January 12, 1964) is the founder, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board of Amazon.com. 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.
JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS, former First Lady
Jacqueline Onassis (1929-1994), the wife of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, attended a Montessori school in her early years. She was later married to the Greek Shipping Magnate, Aristotle Onassis and achieved a successful career as a book editor.
Former first lady and Double Day 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.
GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ, Nobel Prize-winning novelist
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Columbian author who won a Nobel Prize for literature was sent to a Montessori school and is an avid supporter of the philosophy. He stated, “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.”
His book, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ has been named as the book that has most shaped world literature of the last 25 years.
ANNE FRANK, famous child diarist from World War II
Anne Frank is remembered around the world for her diary Het Achterhuis which speaks about her adolescence in German occupied Amsterdam in World War Two. The diary describes the impact of Nazi anti-Semitism on Jewish and Dutch communities. Anne was born to an upper-class Jewish family in Frankfurt before moving to Amsterdam. Her family selected a small Montessori School for Anne to attend where she was remembered as an ordinary student but with the ability to draw more from her experiences than the average student – a typical Montessorian characteristic.
JULIA CHILD, first TV chef
The movie Julie and Julia brings us a fresh awareness of the life of the famous chef, Julia Child. Julia Child was sent to a local Montessori school aged 4 run by May and Augusta Davies who had studied with Maria Montessori. In her book, Julia Child & Company, she credits her Montessori experience with her love of working with her hands. Julia Child exemplifies creativity, initiative and self-confidence.
PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON
Woodrow Wilson, President of The United States of America had a Montessori classroom installed in the basement of the Whitehouse during his term of office for staff to send their children to and his daughter trained as a Montessori teacher. Margaret Wilson was on the committee that brought Dr Montessori to the USA in 1915.
Original designer of the ground-breaking games SimCity, The Sims and Spore, Wright stated he had been inspired to create certain elements of SimCity from his experiences in his Montessori school.
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.
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 organizations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find dignity and community in their work. “The Father of Modern Management”