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Montessori can guide school reform

Across West Virginia, educators, public officials, business leaders and parents are looking for ways to improve academic performance and help students develop 21st century skills, including communication, critical thinking and traits such as responsibility and collaboration.

As president of the Mountaineer Montessori school board,  I encourage reformers: Visit a Montessori school.

For more than 100 years, Montessori has been on the cutting edge of education.

Mixed-age classrooms, a rich curriculum integrated with hands-on, multi-sensory materials, cross-discipline learning and connection to a global environment are just a few of the Montessori innovations that nurture the skills needed for success today.

Montessori education builds a lifetime love of learning and exploration, and has shaped the founders of some of country's most innovative and profitable companies, including Amazon, Wikipedia and Google.  

Mountaineer Montessori is joining more than 5,000 Montessori schools across the U.S. and around the world, including more than 200 in public school districts, to commemorate Montessori Education Week, Feb. 24-March 2.  

We invite policymakers, business leaders, educators and potential students and parents to take a firsthand look at the child-centered, individualized approach developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman physician in Italy.   

Montessori's innovations grew out of scientific observations of children.   

Dr. Steven Hughes, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology, calls Montessori "the original brain-based method of education because it is based on scientifically recognized principles of human development."   

Mountaineer Montessori, founded in 1976, provides a full approved academic curriculum to children ages 3-12 in an authentic Montessori environment, and enjoys collaboration with the University of Charleston teacher education program. 

Some call Montessori one of the best-kept secrets in education. We at Mountaineer are doing our best to change that: We have quite a success story to tell and are eager to lend a voice and a hand as our state comes together to create education that all children deserve.

For more information, call 304-342-7870 or visit our website at

Harry F. Bell Jr.



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