We have the great pleasure of introducing you to a new team member at Montessorium. Meet Hugh Weber, our Chief Cultural Officer! We sat down with Hugh and asked him a few questions. We're sure he'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have too!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background, your interests, your passions?
A: I was raised as a child of possibility. My dad was an electrician by trade, but he was also a tinkerer, inventor and dreamer. My mom initially postponed college to raise me and my siblings, but also filled her days as a newspaper reporter, piano teacher and informal teacher of many. She'd later get two degrees in education and continues to teach in formal and informal ways. So many people lose curiosity and creativity as they are forced to 'become adults.' I like to believe that my parent defended that critical part of me while also allowing me to try and fail on my own personal path of development.
Despite having no political interests of their own, my parents fostered a passion for Presidents that was sparked by a simple childhood book about President Kennedy. Despite a desire to keep me close to home, my parents prepared an environment in our home that prepared me for the world's best (and distant) institutions of learning. They weren't familiar with Montessori, but they seem to have an innate understanding of the idea of creating an environment for me that allowed me to explore and discover myself and my passions.
My passions are currently focused on a 3 year old Montessorian named Emerson, a community of the curious and creative called OTA, and helping people and organizations create stories and cultures of possibility.
Q: What is it about Montessori, and the intersection of technology and education, that interests you the most?
A: After a great deal of research and thought, I've arrived at a place where I'm convinced that creativity is fundamentally combinatorial. Meaning, all of the ideas are out there, it's merely a matter of mix and match. This, to me, is liberating because it means creativity doesn't require creative "genius", it merely involves the intentional collection of ideas, the willingness to explore connections of those ideas and the curation of ideas that are helpful or not given your circumstances. With this in mind, I can think of few more exciting connections to be made than the 100 year old pedagogy of Montessori and the cutting edge technologies of the world. Beautiful. Exciting.Powerful!
Q: Do you have any hobbies? What are you currently listening to, or watching or reading? You know, that kind of stuff.
A: I am a sincere and intense practitioner in the world of curiosity. I'll read, watch and listen to nearly anything that expands my view of the world. Additionally, I find the structure, theory and practice of story to be transformational.
Q: In what ways do you envision the future of education?
A: I think that future is in mass customization. If I can order a pair of shoes customized to my specific requirements, why can we imagine an education framework that guide learners of all age along a custom path of exploration, discovery and development?
Q: What's your favorite Montessorium app?
A: I'm a huge fan of Intro to Geography. I think having a sense of place and distance are a critical component of discovery and understanding.
Q: When you close your eyes late at night, and imagine waking up and starting a new adventure: what is that adventure?
A: I would like to curate the world's great art exhibit of works done on 2"x2" canvas featuring masters next to elementary students. It would be called "Infinitesimal Art."
Do you have questions for Hugh? Leave a comment below!