Montessori Method


Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori is often referred to as "ahead of her time". Born in Italy in
1870, Maria Montessori moved to Rome with her parents in 1875 at the age
of five. Although her father Alessandro embraced traditional views of
female education, it was the more liberal approach of her mother, Renilde
Montessori, that encouraged Maria Montessori to explore her natural
inclination to learn, regardless of the social restrictions placed on women in
the male-dominated society of the day. In so doing, Renilde played an active
role in her daughter's upbringing, and indeed, the whole philosophy behind
what is now known as the "Montessori Method."

Studies in math, physics, natural sciences, biology and medicine
led Maria Montessori to apply to the College of Medicine at the
University of Rome, and she became the first female certified
physician in Italy in 1896, graduating at the top of her class. I
n addition to her duties as a doctor, Maria Montessori conducted
research work in psychiatric medicine and continued her
education in philosophy, psychology and education. She was
appointed professor of anthropology at the University of Rome
in 1904.

Throughout, her interest in the development of children grew - first from
her experience with disabled children and the deplorable state of their care
at the time, then further with mentally-challenged children in her care. As
she learned from the work of others already accomplished in the area of
early childhood education, her own theories evolved, embracing elements,
ideas and methods of all disciplines she had studied.

In 1906, at the age of 36, Maria Montessori founded the first Casa dei
Bambini, or "Children's House" for children of the industrial revolution's
working-class in one of the city's worst slum districts. With some 60
children in her care, Maria Montessori began their education by instructing
the older children on how to help out with everyday chores. Sense materials
that she had developed previously were introduced, and to her surprise,
Montessori discovered how naturally young children adapted and enjoyed
learning everyday tasks. The structure of work and constructive activity
gave the children a sense of self-worth that they had never before
experienced.

                       One of Dr. Maria Montessori's first major hurdles to improve     
                        the lives of these children was accomplished by encouraging      
                        parents to recognize that their children were special and of         
                        great value. From this reverence for the individual beauty          
                        and potential grew the Montessori Method. Critical periods of
early childhood development were identified through her observations, and
the methodology evolved to address these periods with age-appropriate
learning tools and activities. Further development of the methodology
embraced what Montessori described as the "cosmic education" - where
children would be given the environment and guidance to become the
peacemakers of the future, existing in harmony with all living beings in a
sustainable world.

From this time to her death in 1952, Maria Montessori continued her work,
which became widely recognized and embraced throughout the United
States, Europe, and India. She conducted and founded training courses on
these continents, established a research institute in Spain, and developed
Montessori Training Centers in the Netherlands and London.

Maria Montessori was a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize- in
1949, 1950, and 1951.

                             HOME        ABOUT US       MONTESSORI METHOD        CURRICULUM

                             PARENT'S CORNER        SCHOOL TOUR       CALENDAR        CONTACT US