Education Page



Book Signing at TMI

Book signing at The Montessori Institute
in Denver, Colorado

Susan's Books

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. — Albert Einstein, 1921
Montessori 0-3

The painting to the left is an example of the artist's focus on the development of the human being in the first three years of life. At this page are translations of a brief birth-three overview (taken from the Book "The Joyful Child" Joyful Child

0-3 child development video clips


Read about the conference in Sikkim, Northern India, Science, Spirituality, and Education, a meeting of scientists, philosophers, and educators including 5 Montessorians. Sikkim

In 2003, for her 60th birthday, Susan traveled through Tibet. The painting to the right is of an old woman waiting for someone to unlock the door to Milarepa's cave so she could turn the prayer wheel.

Information on Braille without Borders that Susan visited in Lhasa. Braille

Wheel of Life To help bring good Montessori education to Bhutan Susan has visited three times. The picture to the left is from photographs she was allowed to take in a class for young monks. Read about these trips, and the establishment of a Montessori class here: Bhutan A class for young monks in Bhutan
Susan in Palesstinian village Since her first trip in 1963, Susan has been interested in helping children in this part of the world. For more information from her 2011 trip see:
Montessori in the Middle East
Russian Baptism

While consulting the the Montessori School of Moscow Susan happened upon a Russian Orthodox baptism which inspired this painting. See more of this visit here: Russia

Even if you do not read Russian, your students/children will enjoy looking at the Russian script on this Montessori language chart: chart

In 2002 and 2005 Susan studied Buddhism in Dharamsala, India, and gave talks to the Montessori teachers at the Tibetan Children's Village: TCV Children's Village page: TCV home page

In this painting to the right the young son of a friend, making monasteries of Russian dolls she took him.

Matreshkas After many years of teaching children from 2-13 in Montessori classes, Susan respected her youngest child's desire to homeschool. The painting to the right was done during that time. Michael is now a lawyer and musician. To read a brief account of his homeschooling memories, see this page:
Montessori homeschooling
Soccer on Moonstone Beach, Trinidad, CA
Creamation in Nepal From the painting "Cremation Ghats on the Bagmati River in Kathmandu." While helping a Montessori teacher Susan spent a week helping poor Bhotia children at the Sri Mangel Dvip boarding school. Later 2 of the SMD teachers took Montessori training in Chennai, India (training)! Pictures and links from the boarding school here SMD Swimming in Thaliand In 2006 the first AMI Montessori 3-6 training began in Thailand and Susan was on the staff. This painting is from pictures taken while visiting a student's home at a Buddhist self-sustaining community. Information on training in Thailand can be found here: Thailand
See Susan's keynote at the Montessori Model UN in New York, and information on participating in this program: MMUN Susan at the Montessori Model United Nations Susan's Montessori books & DVD's can be ordered here: BOOKS. or from Amazon around the world, and Montessori materials suppliers. DVD The Wonderful Two's


MONTESSORI FOR A PRINCE (PDF) an article published in "Montessori Leadership", a journal of
the International Montessori Council.

Susan has traveled in more than 70 countries, constantly learning about culture and education in the world. Working in other countries provides a valuable perspective on education, specifically Montessori education, and an understanding of the meaning of life. She has consulted in a variety of countries including the USA, India, New Zealand, Thailand, Nepal, The Bahamas, Bhutan, Peru, Albania, The Netherlands, and Russia, after having taught students from birth through college, worked as a counselor for juvenile delinquents and as a school founder and administrator of the Petoskey Montessori Children's House in northern Michigan. She has served as an examiner for the Association Montessori Internationale.

Undergraduate studies: Denison University (Granville, Ohio), Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana), The Semester at Sea program (University of Virginia; previously knows as "The University of the Seven Seas" a shipboard study/travel trip around the world, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia), De Pauw University School of Music (Bay View Music Festival, Petoskey, Michigan), Alliance Francaise (Paris, France), San Francisco State University (San Francisco, California, double degree, Philosophy and Comparative Religion, 1969)
Graduate or extension courses: San Francisco State University, The California Institute of Integral Studies (San Francisco, previously known as The California Institute of Asian Studies), University of the Virgin Islands (USVI, St. Croix), The Berkeley Psychic Institute (Berkeley, CA), University of California (Berkeley, CA), Loyola College in Baltimore (degree 1996, Harvard Graduate School of Education (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
Degrees: BA, Philosophy; MA, Education
Post-graduate diplomas: AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) diplomas:
Birth to three (TMI, Denver, Colorado, and Rome Italy, 1991-1992)
Age 2-7 (MMI, London, England, 1970-1971)
Age 6-12+ (WMI, Washington, DC, 1976-1977)
Susan's Montessori teachers and lecturers included Mario Montessori, Mario Montessori, Jr., Renilde Montessori, and several others trained by Dr. Maria Montessori.

International Projects supported by Michael Olaf Montessori: Projects

Beyond traditional education I am thankful for many opportunities: Suzuki violin and piano studies, and master classes given by Dr. Suzuki and others at the Suzuki Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. At their request I spoke on Montessori at an International Suzuki conference on Multiple Intelligences, taught by Howard Gardner, at The Harvard Graduate School of Education. A visit to the Reggio Emilia program in Italy.

Susan's Other Books:
Joyful Child

Child of the World

Susan's Birth to Three Child Development: Video Clips 0-3

More Montessori Information: Michael Olaf


Follow-up book from Susan's talk at the 2013 International Montessori Congress in Portland, Oregon:
The Universal Child, Guided by Nature

Dear Susan
Your experiences of working in so many diverse environments and with all age groups gives you a depth of knowledge that is rare to find. You build on the experiences of the people and the environment that exist, focusing on their strengths and not making them feel their weaknesses are failures. Your suggestions do not feel like criticism; you have a unique way in passing on direction in a very supportive way.
At 2 Voices we have felt that your suggestions have made a big difference already as we slowly work towards the goals we set. Some of your suggestions were small details but they have had a big effect. It was a fresh eye coming into the working environment that gave the already hard working teachers a boost and stimulation to go further. Susan, you have a keen eye for what is disrupting the environment and your solutions were clear, simple and, most importantly, easy to apply. Thank you!!

—Heidi Phillippart, 2 Voices Montessori School, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dear Susan,
From all of us here in Moscow we would like to thank you for the work that you have done! I am so happy to know you and we all feel that this is a beginning of a new friendship and we do think we'll meet again soon! One teacher says they all felt extremely enlightened, as if they all came out of a church!
I've been hearing more comments about your lecture and how people were happy to be able to ask questions and get their answers —both parents and teachers from other Montessori schools told me that.
—Valentina Zaytseva, Moscow