Maria Montessori

Who was Maria Montessori?

Maria Montessori, Italian educator, with a large group of children from one of her "works" in Italy. (AP Photo)

Maria Montessori, Italian educator, with a large group of children from one of her “works” in Italy. (AP Photo)

 

Maria Montessori was born on August 31,1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Unusual for the time, she entered a technical school at the age of 16 and graduated with a certificate of physics and mathematics at the age of 20. She had overcome a great deal of cultural opposition in deciding to become a doctor but in 1893 she was finally able to enter the medical program at the University of Rome. Upon graduation, she became the first woman physician of Italy.
She became interested in working with children and spent many years observing of how children learn. She created a specific and organized system of education because she realized that children learn differently from adults based on specific stages of development. This was radically different from the educational approach of the time. In 1907 she opened the first school named Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House) and that was how the Montessori journey of love for learning began and spread around the world.