Urban Montessori

Changemaker School
Network Member Since 2013
Urban Montessori Public Charter School is one of the only few schools in the U.S. that is combining the Montessori approach, design thinking, and arts integration to provide its students with a “Changemaker education.” One of the ways that Urban Montessori accomplishes this is through community days, in which the school gathers its students, parents, teachers, and members of the surrounding community to use design thinking to solve a community problem together. Urban Montessori also hosts design-thinking workshops for parents, which involve challenges such as interviewing another person at the workshop and designing something for that individual based on his or her needs.

Character and Peace Education is arguably the core of the Montessori Primary Curriculum. Unlike Math and Language Arts, there are little or no physical materials devoted to the development of good character and peace education. However, the threads of this curriculum area are present and interwoven throughout the classroom.


It begins in Practical Life, where children learn to care for him or herself as well as their shared environment. The exercises of Grace and Courtesy explicitly teach social interaction skills, creating the means for a harmonious classroom culture. The Sensorial, Mathematics and Language curriculum enhance children’s abilities to understand the world and to communicate effectively with the people in their community. The Cultural Studies, Science, and Arts materials complete the curriculum by providing a global perspective and an understanding of the world as a unified whole. At the school-wide level, Montessori emphasizes learning through relationships and community building. Montessori believes empathy is the key skill for both.