Entrepreneurship at Endeavor Montessori
Maria Montessori’s curriculum, set up over 100 years ago, emphasized many of the skills that are now considered key factors in successful entrepreneurs. Her curriculum stressed areas of independence, self-guidance, and learning at one’s pace rather than the pace of others. This self-directed curriculum ties itself into building great minds that encourage curiosity and independence. In a Montessori environment, students of all ages develop the ability to work by themselves and also with others in small groups.
At Endeavor Montessori, we teach children how to set goals, achieve these goals, and then set higher ones. This process builds self-efficacy and creates a more positive feeling of success. Our students are encouraged in their daily work to take and assess risks and are supported as they learn from their mistakes. Through our use of practical life, even our young students gain a sense of order, accomplishment and concentration starting as early as the toddler years.
Our older students have the opportunity to create a microeconomy and practice their small business skills. Entrepreneurial language such as margin, markup, and cost are all terms children hear and learn from early elementary and on. At Endeavor Montessori, students of all ages and in all classrooms have opportunities to explore areas of interest promoting a freedom and love of learning that a traditional preschool, elementary, or middle school setting may not be able to offer. The prepared environment of our Montessori classrooms is meant to unleash each child’s individual potential by allowing them the freedom to grow, learn and contribute to their own classroom.
How Montessori relates to modern-day entrepreneurship
Today’s new management strategies mirror what Dr. Montessori believed so many years ago. Daniel Pink in his book Drive questioned the idea that employees require command and control to be successful. He felt that over controlling and underutilizing was counterproductive to the workplace. He said that employees performed better without monetary rewards, because what they were really motivated by was autonomy, mastery and purpose. He stated that companies needed problem solvers, catalysts and synergists. He explained how humans need to direct their own lives, and create a better world for themselves and for future generations.
Jim Collins in his book Good to Great shows that CEO’s of large companies are outperforming their competition by using these same skills. This is exactly what Montessori strived to create in every child in a Montessori classroom. These soft skills are becoming more and more common in the interview process of large companies like Google, Apple, and Zappos, just to name a few. According to Collins, the CEO’s of these companies are good listeners, tend to be humbler and more modest, and see themselves more as facilitators than leaders in the traditional sense.
Children in a traditional preschool, elementary, and even middle school environment learn to rely on adults to direct and think for them. Montessori classroom environments enable a child to think for themselves and build on these skills that become important in today’s workforce. Maria Montessori said, “We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself, this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.”