“Thank you for running such a kind and gentle school. It is the perfect environment for curious and impressionable little minds.” - Dr. & Mr. Archer
Maria Montessori was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Born in 1870, she became the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school in 1896. In her medical practice, her clinical observations led her to analyze how children learn, how they build themselves from what they find in their immediate environment.
In 1906, she accepted the challenge to work with a group of 60 children of working parents in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. It was there that she founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House”. What ultimately become the Montessori method of education developed there, based upon Montessori’s scientific observations of these children’s almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials. Every piece of equipments, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children to do “naturally”, by themselves, unassisted by adults.
Children teach themselves. This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori’s life-long pursuit of education reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training – all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.
Maria Montessori died in Holland in 1952, but her work continues. Today, Montessori schools exist around the world and her methods have certainly stood the test of time.
Excerpts from “What is Montessori?” , A publication of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association in affiliation with Association Montessori Internationale, Editor: David Kahn