Higher Ground Education's mission is to modernize and mainstream the international Montessori movement, and thereby enable children across the world to realize their human potential as knowledge-guided, value-oriented, efficacious beings, so that they experience, undiluted and unimpeded, the joyous process of growing into successful adults.
Our Mission Statement
The globe is covered with impassioned educators, among them countless wise and dedicated Montessorians. The sheer number of people who care deeply and honestly about improving the lot of children through education, and who are putting their time, energy, and money behind the effort, is staggering. These educators work tirelessly to offer children an education that is driven by the child’s activity, that fosters independence and imparts core life knowledge, and that is in every respect better than what is offered in today’s mainstream.
Yet when we step back, we cannot help but conclude that these great souls are not producing results proportional to their collective ability, effort, and investment. Far too few children have their lives touched by the benefits of Montessori pedagogy — or even some lesser, watered-down Montessori-inspired alternative. Far too few educators receive the profound benefits of the knowledge, experience, and guidance that Montessori trainers and master educators have to offer them. Far too many human beings, as a result, grow up without experiencing the being and wonder that a proper prepared environment and prepared guide could have offered them.
Maria Montessori noted that “if hope and salvation are to come, it can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.” But nothing will come from the children that will be tomorrow’s adults unless something dramatic is done to liberate their nascent capacities to think, work, and live. The fact that the Montessori pedagogy exists and is well understood by so many erudite minds, that fact that it contains within it the answer to the ills of modern education and the seed of what can be a very happy future for mankind, is not in itself enough. If modern education is to be reformed, such reforms will come from those who are maniacal about the practical challenge of transforming the Montessori promise into actual, realized, tangible environments for children. It will come from those who wrestle with destiny at both strategic and tactical levels to understand and alter the current trajectory of the establishment.
It will come from those who determine, at a grass-roots level, how to gain Montessori ideas a hearing amongst those who remain skeptical, and how to draw in wider and wider circles of parents, educators, philanthropists, and investors. It will require a clear-eyed understanding of the obstacles that prevent Montessori pedagogy from becoming mainstream, and a focused, creative effort to remove those obstacles. It will demand an unremitting toil and an unbending drive that simply refuse to take no for an answer.
Higher Ground Education aims to be the nexus for such great work and change. Higher Ground’s mission will be to support the Montessori movement's efforts to professionalize itself, improve its programs, and expand its reach while retaining authenticity and pedagogical integrity. We’ll develop the infrastructure necessary to leverage and empower the widespread existing talent in Montessori, and education generally, as well as to bring in waves of new talent from outside the existing education space. We’ll work to create a cultural watershed in which creative minds and patient capital will flow to Montessori causes and initiatives, and help make this still-tiny movement into the single most dominant and widespread international educational philosophy.
In addition to owning and operating schools around the world, Higher Ground will also seek to develop an international platform that sources, secures, and develops back-end support to all Montessori-inspired schools and educators. From helping existing school owners overcome perennial challenges to supporting enterprising teachers and parents who wish to start new schools, from delivering leadership trainings and professional development workshops to helping teacher training centers strengthen their operations and expand their student base, from developing customized software tools to facilitating access to real estate and construction partners, Higher Ground will seek to create a technology-enabled, professional “prepared environment” that engages the thousands of Montessori entrepreneurs and organizations world round.
Montessori wrote that “a calm serene child, attached to reality, begins to achieve his elevation through work.” We at Higher Ground will assist educators to pursue such elevation in and through their own work, in pursuit of a new tomorrow of children and adults who know the serenity of self-confidence, who find their sense of worth in work well done, who experience the joy of solving problems and the goodwill of mutual respect. Our dream and ambition is to bring the educational establishment, and through it the children of the world, to that higher ground which consists in an elusive, as-yet unrealized promise: a mainstream, sweepingly large, widely studied and widely implemented international Montessori movement.
Higher Ground Education was founded by a small team of impassioned educators and business leaders — skilled operators who had spent their early careers creating and scaling one of the most high-quality, high-fidelity Montessori school networks in the world. For many years the team devoted itself to developing, testing, refining, and putting into practice the resources, systems, infrastructure, and pedagogical leadership required to achieve Montessori “at scale,” and at its pinnacle had created a network of over 20 schools across both coasts of the United States.
And yet, the pace of growth was not fast enough. The impact was not widespread enough. We helped create, from small beginnings, a group of schools of which we were truly proud. We had learned firsthand the incredible impact of proper education on the soul of the child and the family. But these accomplishments, far from slaking our missionary thirst, served only to increase it. It became necessary to climb out of the box we had built around ourselves and reimagine the problem from scratch. It was at this moment that Higher Ground Education was born: a moment both of renewed seeking and of breakthrough discovery.
We sought perspective. We sought an elevated place to stand, from which to gain a macro-level view. And we found our overarching goal: not merely to create our own community of schools, but to be a catalyst for fundamental change to an entire sphere of education and entire generations of children, by making the Montessori pedagogy, properly imagined, the dominant educational approach worldwide.
We view our task as wildly over-ambitious, but at the same time practically necessary and urgent. We do not think it an exaggeration to say that either human civilization achieves an educational revolution, or it may fall within a few generations into another dark age. To help fuel such a revolution we first recognize that we cannot do it alone. We must empower a movement through supporting all the talented, passionate fellow-travelers out there animated by the same love of children and hunger to offer them something better. Through a combination of deep thought and focused action, we will raise ourselves and other educators, and as a result the children of the world, to ever-higher ground.