When baking a cake, simply assembling the ingredients does not make a cake; they must be mixed in the proper portions and baked for the appropriate time. The same is true for the “ingredients” of companies and nations. In our complex modern world, simply hiring engineers, financiers, lawyers, etc. will not make a successful company or government; they must all work together to achieve a successful outcome. Even for an individual working with others is a crucial ingredient for success.
As an engineer, I have seen hundreds of knowledgeable engineers who live in a world of LaPlace Transforms and Bessel Functions but could not work with others to achieve a result. The Montessori philosophy addresses this issue in a way that public education does not.
Most instruction in public schools is by lecture; teachers talk, students hopefully listen. At Montessori schools like The Montessori School of Raleigh, students work together and explore and, in doing so, learn something equally as valuable as the subject material. They learn to work with others to achieve an outcome. They learn that others may have different opinions and methods of completing the task but must all work together to accomplish the result. They also learn personal responsibility; if they do not do their part in finishing the task, the task will not be completed. This knowledge of human relations is equally as important in later success as is knowledge of math, science, etc.
And the results of this ability to work together have been shown in numerous academic studies. Here is a quote from December 28, 2021, Forbes Magazine by Dr. Angeline Lillard of the University of Virginia: “What surprised us is that pretty much everything in the sink turned out significant — on almost every survey, people who had spent at least two years in Montessori had higher well-being than people who never went to Montessori,” says Lillard. “This was true even among the sub-sample who attended private schools for their entire pre-college lives. We also found that the longer one had attended a Montessori school, the higher their level of well-being.”
When I was contacted to write my submission for the “Board Spotlight” section of the MSR e-newsletter, I was asked, “What are the highlights of being a grandparent of current MSR students?” My answer was easy, “I know that my grandchildren are getting the best possible education to prepare them for a difficult and uncertain future.”
[Charles Bayless is the retired President of the West Virginia University of Technology and former CEO of both Tucson Electric Power and Illinois Power. He is the author of numerous papers on the Electric Utility Industry. Charles has a BSEE from the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, an MSEE and a J.D. from West Virginia University, and a MBA from the University of Michigan. Charles and his wife Joan have triplet grandchildren: Paige, Madison, and Jonathan who currently attend MSR.]