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Maria Montessori Google Doodle: How Montessori Education ‘Programmed’ Google’s Founders

Maria Montessori, the Italian physician and educator known for creating an educational model that essentially allows children freedom to learn and create independently, is the subject of today’s Google Doodle. She was born on this date 142 years ago.

No doubt today’s Doodle has some extra meaning for Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Both Page and Brin are Montessori products – Page having attended Okemos Montessori Radmoor School in Michigan, while Brin attended Paint Branch Montessori School in Adelphi, Maryland after emigrating from the Soviet Union.

As ex-Googler Marissa Mayer (now Yahoo CEO) explained in Steven Levy’s book “In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives”:

You can’t understand Google unless you know that both Larry and Sergey were Montessori kids. … It’s really ingrained in their personalities. To ask their own questions, do their own things. To disrespect authority. Do something because it makes sense, not because some authority figure told you. In Montessori school you go paint because you have something to express or you just want to do it that afternoon, not because the teacher said so. This is really baked into how Larry and Sergey approach problems. They’re always asking ‘Why should it be like that?’ It’s the way their brains were programmed early on.

This upbringing as Montessori kids essentially inspired Google’s company culture – to mold it into the sort of place people would want to work for free.

Source: Search Engine Watch

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