Who's Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She became the very first woman in Italy to receive a degree in medicine in 1894. She worked with disabled children in Rome as a child psychiatrist. After being appointed director of the Orthophrenic School in 1898, Maria Montessori taught special needs children using their environment as the educational tool. This endeavor laid the foundation for what we know today as the Montessori Education Method. Maria Montessori believed that if her method would work for disabled children then it could be used to benefit normal children in a powerful way. She once said, "Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world."

Naturally, wanting to help improve education and spread love for learning with others, Maria Montessori opened her first day care in Rome. It was called Case dei Bambini (Children's house) and was where she began perfecting her method. Maria Montessori realized success in Rome with the Children's House. Her ideas and understanding of the child psyche began to spread to other parts of the world. The first Montessori school in the United States was established in Tarrytown N. Y. in the year 1912. And in other regions of the world, such as Europe and India, Montessori schools were growing rapidly.

As Montessori became a powerful influence in India, Maria Montessori interned at the Theosophical Society of India from 1939 to 1949. Here she created the Training Courses with the aid of her son Mario Montessori. Maria Montessori lived out the remainder of her life in the Netherlands, which is now the headquarters of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Maria Montessori passed away in the Netherlands in 1952 after a lifetime devoted to the study of child development.

The Montessori Education Method has seen increases and decreases in its popularity, but many believe that the Montessori Education Method can be a powerful tool for education and real learning. We can all learn more of ourselves and give our children, our greatest treasures, love and respect when it comes to learning.