Montessori Alumni Stories - Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker is considered the creator of modern management. He focused his thinking on forming communities, people working together, and finding dignity in work. It may be surprising that a business and management guru was influenced by Maria Montessori, but Peter Drucker was a strong advocate of Maria Montessori. His ideas of “self management and effective knowledge work” are based on the principles of the Schwarzwald School in Austria, which he attended as a boy. Eugenie Schwarzwald was an admirer and collaborator of Dr. Montessori.
In his 1973 book, Management, Tasks, Responsibilities, Drucker wrote, “For thousands of years people have been talking about improving teaching—to no avail. It was not until the early years of this century, however, that an educator asked, ‘What is the end product?’ Then the answer was obvious: It is not teaching, it is, of course, learning. And then the same educator, the great Italian doctor and teacher Maria Montessori (1870-1952) began to apply systematic analysis of the work and systematic integration of the parts into a process.” And “We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”
Forming community, working with others, and seeing dignity in others and in work are such hallmarks of Montessori environments. The notion that learning and the development of the learner is to be valued more than rote information rings true in Montessori environments as well. In Montessori words, “We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”