14. Learning Human Skills Through the Montessori Framework
You’ve likely heard about the Montessori group, a framework of education with schools around the globe, that follows the pedagogy created by Marie Montessori in the 1900s. Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. It centers on human skills in developmental education. However, because it was built in the 1900s it often is labeled outdated or old-fashioned. Leonor Stjepic, the current CEO of the Montessori Group, joins Kelly to explain why the Montessori method is so relevant and valuable today, and how even as adults, we can employ Montessori teachings to strengthen our essential life skills
Leonor believes human skills should be called essential life skills because the often-used term “soft skills” does not accurately describe their importance and effect.
(7:00) "[At Montessori] we're teaching children [life skills] at such a young age that they become ingrained, they become muscle memory. It's like when you learn how to drive a car as an adult--once you've learned and you've driven several times, you do it because you remember how to do it. You have that skill now. We're teaching these young children to have essential life skills, and I refuse to call them soft skills because they're not soft skills."
(20:00)"I've always employed people based on who they are as people rather than what skills they have. You can get some people who look amazing on paper and are awful employees because they're missing key human skills. And I've employed people who don't have qualifications or haven't finished school and they've been brilliant."
(25:00) "Teams are all about building relationships, respecting differences (because not everybody's the same), and being able to work with people you don't like--that's a really important skill. You have to be able to show them respect. You have to be able to interact with your customers or stakeholders, and that's all about relationships. It's all about being a well-rounded human being."