Throughout history, tech innovators have had lots of common traits.
They’re bright, outside-the-box thinkers, creative, and open-minded about the future.
But here’s something you may not know about the tech founders listed below: they all went to Montessori school.
Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. It is characterised by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development.
These elements are essential for proper Montessori training:
- Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 6 years old are by far the most common
- Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
- Uninterrupted blocks of work time, ideally three hours
- A constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
- Freedom of movement within the classroom
Here are the tech innovators who attended Montessori school:
Larry Page, CEO, Google – “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,” Page has said of his Montessori education in The Christian Science Monitor.
Sergey Brin, Co-founder, Google
Thomas Edison – “I like the Montessori method,” Edison has been quoted saying, according to historians at the Thomas Edison National Historic Park. “It teaches through play. It makes learning a pleasure. It follows the natural instincts of the human being. The present system casts the brain into a mould. It does not encourage original thought or reasoning.”
Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon – The Wall Street Journal reports that according to Jeff Bezos’s mother, “young Jeff would get so engrossed in his activities as a Montessori preschooler that his teachers would literally have to pick him up out of his chair to go to the next task.”
Will Wright, Creator of “The Sims” video game – In a TED Talk, Maria Montessori’s methods inspired Will to invent an entirely new video game genre — non-violent, open-ended games in which players use sophisticated computer simulation tools.
Henry Ford, Manufactured the first car
Jimmy Wales, Founder, Wikipedia – Wales has described his childhood private school as a “Montessori influenced philosophy of education,” where he “spent lots of hours poring over the Britannicas and World Book Encyclopedias” according to his Wikipedia page (which we hope Wales created himself, all considering.)
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.