Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was born in the town of Chiaravalle in the province of Ancona, ltaly, on 31 August,1870. When she was twelve years old the family moved to Rome. Showing an independence of spirit that characterised her throughout her life, Maria attended a boys’ technical school and studied mathematics and engineering. Her interests developed and biology became her great passion. Out of this came a determination to become a doctor and she applied for a place at the medical school at the University of Rome. She was denied admission because she was a woman. Battling against the great prejudices shown towards women in the nineteenth century she persisted, and in 1896 she became one of the first two women in Italy to earn the degree of Doctor of Medicine. She was called Dottoressa (woman doctor) by many people for the rest of her life.

Children teach themselves

This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori’s lifelong pursuit of educational reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training—all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.

Her desire to help children was so strong, however, that in 1906 she gave up both her university chair and her medical practice to work with a group of sixty young 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 became 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 equipment, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children to do “naturally,” by themselves, unassisted by adults.

Maria Montessori is an Italian origin woman that was five times nominate for the Nobel Peace Prize due to the fact that she devoted her life to children and their education. She based her research on observations. She observed how children behave, in what conditions do they learn best and how they react to certain impulses.