What Makes a Lifelong Learner?

a letter to the editor of the Dallas Morning News by Christa Montague

“Lifelong learner” has become a catchphrase to encapsulate the traits needed to succeed in today’s constantly shifting world — traits whose importance has only become more apparent by the relentless challenges thrown at us by the pandemic. How to educate children to become lifelong learners is less commonly understood. Yet it’s not an unsolved mystery. For 50 years, DFW-based Montessori Children’s House and School has been fostering students’ intellectual curiosity and independent thinking, which are critical in forming the basis for lifelong learning.

In 1970, MCHS founders Carl and Mary Schwalm built the school on two pillars: The now 120-year-old Montessori method, whose success in developing the skills linked to achievement has been validated by present-day researchers, and deep parent involvement.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this April, we’d like to share what we’ve learned with the community. When the learning environment is designed around the child and her needs, she will reach her full potential. When parents volunteer and are active in their child’s school, they develop a closer connection to their child, a deeper understanding of their child’s development and a greater appreciation of the role they play in helping their child become a lifelong learner.

Christa Montague, Dallas

head of school, Montessori Children’s House and School

This article first appeared on the Dallas Morning News website in the spring of 2021.