Maria Montessori Doodle Hits Google Homepage

By: Chris Crum - August 31, 2012

Google is displaying a new Doodle on its front page today, in honor of the birthday of Maria Montessori, the Italian educator known for the Montessori method of education.

According the North American Montessori Teachers Association, the method is practiced in about 20,000 schools around the world, for children up to eighteen years of age.

The method is rooted in independence and giving children a bit more freedom than they would have in more traditional schools. According to the the American Montessori Society, this includes things like mixed age classrooms, student choice of activities (within a set range of options), uninterrupted blocks of work time and a “discovery” model, where students learn from working with things directly, as opposed to simply being instructed.

This doodle shares a special place in Google’s heart, as the company’s co-founders credit their success, at least in part, to the Montessori Method. Here’s a Barbara Walters interview with Sergey Brin and Larry Page talking about the impact it has had (hat tip to Barry Schwartz):

“We both went to Montessori school, and 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, doing things a little bit different,” said Page.

Maria Montessori was born on this day in 1870. She passed on May 6, 1952 at the age of 81. In addition to her pioneering educational philosophies, she also practiced medicine

According to Google’s Knowledge Graph, people who search for Maria Montessori also search for Jean Piaget, John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky, Erik Erikson and Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Amy Hinrichs

    I am a Montessori Teacher, and I hope that this great advert for the philosophy is widely seen. In the days of growing distinterest with data and children having high test scores, maybe parents and educators will come back to the wholistic and developmental approach that these big thinkers were able to use, to become the innovators they are.
    Thank you to Maria Montessori who developed these ideas over 100 years ago. We know this philosophy still rings true today.

  • Lynne Breitenstein-Aliberti

    Happy Birthday Dr. Montessori!! Her legacy lives on and is gaining popularity. I also teach Montessori, or as Montessori said, I am a Directress because the children teach themselves through their work! This is the kind of education our world is searching for. Thanks to Larry and Sergey for acknowledging this.

  • Carrie Benoit Salemi

    In the first decades of the 20th century Maria Montessori developed a radically new method of education by observing children in many cultures. She “discovered” the power of the child to change the future of humanity. She had a radical vision of peace in the cosmos achieved through the unleashing of this power. I’ve been an adult in a Montessori early childhood classroom for over 40 years, witnessing so many amazing children and trying to live up to Maria’s vision. Happy Birthday!

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