While policy makers debate about education reform, Dr. Maria Montessori transformed education over 100 years ago.

Learn how her transformation of school aligns with current scientific research.

Be inspired to bring Montessori education to more children.

For nearly twenty years, education policymakers around the world have been “reforming” education systems by focusing on a single outcome: Student performance on high-stakes academic tests. Yet, school testing relies on a shockingly narrow range of mental abilities, forcing schools to focus on testing content and “thinking” about that content. This single-minded pursuit of higher test scores ignores decades of neuroscience research demonstrating that movement is entangled with and even precedes the development of cognition. As these researchers point out, humans are actually born to move, not born to think. To help children develop the wide range of human capabilities necessary for a successful and happy life in a rapidly changing society and economy, schools cannot solely focus on “thinking” about content. Instead, schools need a different educational framework—one that is embodied and based on how the brain actually develops. The Brainstorming Tour presents such a framework and the research that indirectly supports it.




Dr. Laura Flores Shaw
is the lead editor, writer, and founder of White Paper Press, an education company focused on increasing the scientific knowledge of both educators and parents. She received her doctorate from Johns Hopkins University School of Education, where she is also an adjunct professor, specializing in mind, brain, and teaching. Previously, Dr. Shaw briefly worked as a family systems therapist in the public-school system where she realized her desire to work on the prevention rather than intervention side of mental health. That led her to revive a failing Montessori school where she created environments that allow children to flourish. In 2014, she left school administration to focus on advocating for educational and parenting frameworks that can improve the lives of children and their families. Dr. Shaw’s current research focuses on exploration of pedagogical constructs in practice and how teachers’ knowledge of such constructs influences their teacher efficacy beliefs and, hence, their behaviors with students. She also seeks to align the field of education with the research on sensorimotor development, as it is intertwined with the development of cognition and executive functions. Dr. Shaw writes, speaks, and consults internationally on education, brain development, parenting, and organizational behavior.

Good crop Hughes head shot

Dr. Steven Hughes
a pediatric neuropsychologist and Director of the Center for Research on Developmental Education, an education outcome research consultancy. His work is directed at measuring, tracking, and communicating about the wider developmental benefits of nontraditional educational experiences. He is the founding chair of the Association Montessori International Global Research Committee. Dr. Hughes previously was a faculty member in the Division of Pediatric Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Minnesota Medical School and is past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology. Dr. Hughes’ main research interests are on processes that promote the growth of executive functions, social-emotional skills, and moral reasoning. Dr. Hughes is a popular speaker and consultant for Montessori organizations around the world. As the driving force behind the Montessori Global Outcomes Project, he is helping Montessori organizations around the world show how Montessori education can help “close the gap” with children from under-resourced backgrounds.


Presented by:

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Cities and dates:

September 27–Charlotte, North Carolina
October 11–Ottawa, Canada
October 12–Ontario, Canada
October 13–Ontario, Canada
November 1–Denver, Colorado
November 8–Jersey City, New Jersey
January 15 or 16–Pasadena, California*
January 17Marin, California

To add your city to the schedule, please contact us.

*Tentative date.



Presented by:

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Cities and dates:

28 March – Prague
29 March – Paris
3 April – Romania
4 April – Bucharest
5 April – Sofia
6 April – Vienna
12 April – Amsterdam