A recent article in ChicagoInno looked at two different startup company founders, Jake Nickell, founder of Threadless, and Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, who are parents of Montessori children, and how they value Montessori as Entrepreneurship Education.
“You have the ability to work by yourself, or you’re going to be working with peers and you’re going to have to be a leader, you’re going to have to be a follower. A lot of entrepreneurial parents say…they appreciate their kids having that kind of experience at school.”
They also enjoy how students in older grades create businesses that have ranged from setting up a washing service for the schools’ linens (they use cloth napkins and placemats), to selling keychains and trinkets they designed and printed on the school’s 3D printer, to selling basil before school. Students create a business plan, manage a bank account, and decide how to spend funds. They gave their staff additional training in these methods, and recently opened a new wing with space devoted to STEM projects (to foster tinkering trial and error) and the performing arts (to inspire confidence).
“People who end up choosing to be entrepreneurs have a lot of curiosity and do things in their own way,” Nickell said. “As a student of Montessori you’re in control of your own education, but there are still guard rails around it all. Teachers are sure you’re doing the work around the room, but you’re doing it at your own pace…My daughter makes her lesson plan for the day.”