I’ve often heard a critique of the Montessori approach as “too academic.” Here we have a story in the realm of athletics, not academia, where the values imparted in a Montessori education are credited with extraordinary success.
The Golden State Warriors are in the Western Conference Finals. This hasn’t happened in 39 years! Their superstar player, the NBA’s most valuable player of season, and possibly the best jump shooter the NBA has seen, Steph Curry, attributes the shaping of his work ethic and achievement to Maria Montessori.
In an interview with Montessori Life, Winter 2013-2014, Steph Curry shares,
(Montessori) gave me a lot of confidence at a young age. I was able to learn the way I wanted and needed to, to gain a sense of achievement as I went along. I was able to push myself, and it taught me a lot of self-discipline and a work ethic. I always wanted to do more and get better.
Check out this short video on the Curry family and the role of Maria Montessori in their life:
The Montessori approach is stellar at providing the foundation for academic success, but not for the perceived stringent academic approach. Sonya Curry, Steph’s mom, shares her appreciation of how Montessori instills foundations for life- “I love Montessori for the fundamental aspects that it affords children … independence, the intrinsic love for learning, responsibility, respect for yourself, for other people.”
Montessori offers the opportunity to achieve proficiency, to choose the same work, over and over again, following intrinsic motivation, until a sense of accomplishment and mastery is attained. Steph Curry affirms this, “Montessori taught me that anything I put my hands on and practiced, I could accomplish.” He’s doing it! Steph Curry is breaking 3 point records in the regular and post season. If you haven’t been watching, do. For your love of Maria Montessori, watch Steph Curry.