Core Philosophy

Our Story

Written by Dr. Matt Bateman on August 13, 2021

In 2006, Bobby and June George, a husband and wife living in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, were hard at work advocating for Montessori education. They were starting a Montessori school—from scratch, in the grassroots way that Montessori has grown for a century, with one classroom and a few children.

But they were also leveraging their story, broadcasting it online in the early days of blogs. The internet was amplifying the reach of individual stories, and they wanted to take full advantage of it. It seemed like the perfect medium for making more accessible the everyday splendor and intimacy of Montessori education: the nuanced interactions between children and a developmentally trained guide, the beauty and pedagogical sophistication of the prepared classroom environment, and the incredible focus of each particular child who enraptured themselves in complex work. 

That desire to amplify Montessori—and to use modern methods and fresh thinking to do so—was the seed of Montessorium. It led to iPad apps, encouragement from Steve Jobs, and a twin embrace of the old and the new.

In 2016, in California, another small team of educators passionate about Montessori was independently forming a vision of a Montessori with a vastly expanded reach. Higher Ground Education has since opened dozens of schools across the world, housing Montessori programs for students from birth through high school, as well as delivering accredited teacher training to thousands of educators.

Higher Ground and Montessorium shared a reverence for the depth and precision a century of Montessori theory and practice, and an eagerness to use fresh thought in applying Montessori principles to the full scope of educational issues. The spiritual and strategic affinities between the two organizations led to Higher Ground acquiring Montessorium in 2018.

Montessorium now represents the totality of Higher Ground’s thought leadership efforts and is now more of a think tank, focused on depth: on crystallizing the unique philosophy of education, heavily informed by Montessori’s writings, utilized by Higher Ground Education.

Montessorium represents the most fundamental ideas, about learning and human development, that underly the programs, the parenting services, the schools, the apps, and the teacher trainings. Montessorium is grounded in the humanities, particularly in philosophy and history. We’re investing in precisifying our radicalism and clarifying of the big picture.

The aim is truth in the philosophy of education.

Dr. Matt Bateman

Dr. Matt Bateman earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 2012 from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught and continued his research at Franklin and Marshall College in the Department of Psychology, on topics ranging from neuroscience to evolutionary theory to philosophy, before joining the LePort Schools as Director of Curriculum and Pedagogy in 2014.

In 2016, Dr. Matt Bateman became a founding member of Higher Ground Education. He is now Vice President of Pedagogy for Higher Ground and the Executive Director of Montessorium.