In February of 2013, I had the pleasure of visiting Napa Valley, California, to speak at St. Helena Montessori School ( The growing campus was beautiful, and the school staff and community were gracious and inspiring. The next day, Alexander Heil from SHMS asked me a few questions about how I learned about Montessori, and how I saw research playing a role in supporting the future of Montessori education in the US and around the world. The result is what you see here.

The mild weather was a welcome change from Minnesota, and I was in a great frame of mind. The questions were thoughtful and provocative, and I think the interview went pretty well. I was grateful for the chance to describe our need for systematic, large-scale, inclusive, research about Montessori practice and outcomes. I also expressed a few opinions about the fractured state of the "Montessori world" and I hope you understand that these thoughts represent my personal impressions drawn from contact with folks on all branches of the Montessori family tree. The opinions expressed are solely my own, and will change with time and experience. Overall, it's an informal, somewhat personal hour-plus discussion, and I hope you find it interesting. If you want to share your thoughts with me, you can do so at my website,

If your school is located in the United States, thanks to the National Center for Montessori in the Public Sector ( and the Trust for Learning (, you can help with Montessori research right now by registering your school at the national, all-Montesosri school census site, The census serves many purposes, but will also act as a gateway to involvement in the larger research agenda described in the interview.

Videography by Brian Capenter.


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