Human Life, Fully Lived
We are working to change the fabric of society by enabling every human being to reach self-actualization
Our Mission & Vision
Higher Ground aims to empower children to grow and live full lives, through a suite of educational offerings and resources grounded in Montessori principles. Our vision is Montessori everywhere.
Timeless Questions, Real Answers
The Enlightenment brought revolutions in politics, industry, and science—but left education largely untouched. 20th century universalization of education generated more questions than answers.
Should education be knowledge-centered or child-centered? Is education about vocationally or socially relevant core academics, or is it still about virtue?Are there really viable pedagogical alternatives to lectures and drills?Is education more a function of society or parenting?
Higher Ground has developed an approach to education, heavily inspired by Maria Montessori, that resolves these questions: that punches through false alternatives, that systematically and wholistically educates children starting from birth, and that points the way to educational revolution.
Educating for Agency
We educate a child to nurture and maximize her most precious resource: agency. A child’s capacity to independently self-direct, to independently think and value in the moment and to self-author her life over the long term—to do these things with love and competence. This is our educational aim.
Most fundamentally, we nurture the individual life, fully lived.Living a full life means developing and valuing agency, and its major components: a capacity for great work, a thirst for knowledge, and a love of human beings.
Maria Montessori developed a revolutionary approach to education in the first half of the 20th century, refining it over the course of her life. That work is continued now by thousands of impassioned Montessori educators across the globe.
At Higher Ground, our goal is to join in and accelerate this century-old project. We believe that the Montessori pedagogy contains within it the answer to the ills of modern education and the seed of a happy future for humankind. It needs to be mainstreamed, modernized, and extended, and above all it needs to be understood.
“A calm serene child, attached to reality, begins to achieve his elevation through work.”
Start early. Our programming starts at 3 months old and goes through high school. An approach that starts young and goes on throughout development allows for deep programmatic integration, leveraging the full diversity of different developmental stages, the shaping of habits and mindsets, and ambitious curricula that pull learning younger.
Prepared environments. Children need to practice independence and learn by voluntary choice. They also need foundational knowledge and skills. Montessori developed an approach to learning that reconciles these two goals without tradeoff: designenvironments that are enticing and can be navigated independently—and that are embedded with an entire core knowledge curriculum. Our programs are both knowledge-centered and child-centered.
Expert guides. Having the curriculum embedded in the environment and independently accessible enables the teacher to master that curriculum, rather than developing it, and focus on beinga guide and a coach. Our teachers are specially trained on development and motivation, and work in a structure where they can give students individualized lessons and support.
Fostering agency. Children are more capable than we think, and our job is to empower them further. Supported with individualization from an expert guide, and set loose in specially prepared environments, children are free to become their best selves: to learn independently and effectively, to develop interests and persistence, to work and grow in a benevolent community.
At Higher Ground , we assist educators to pursue such elevation in and through their own work, in pursuit of a new tomorrow of children and adults who know the serenity of self-confidence, who find their sense of worth in work well done, who experience the joy of solving problems and the goodwill of mutual respect and admiration.
Our ambition: to bring the educational establishment, and through it the children of the world, to that higher ground which exists in an elusive, as-yet unrealized promise: a mainstream, sweepingly large, widely studied and widely implemented international Montessori movement.
This is Montessori education, everywhere.
Read more about our philosophy of education and our pedagogy at Montessorium, our think tank.
Lives Fully Lived
A keynote presentation by our CEO, Ray Girn.