What is Montessori?
Dr. Maria Montessori was a scientist and physician, born in Rome, Italy in 1870. She was the first female to graduate from the University of Rome Medical School. Her interest in education began with special needs children and she established a childcare center in a poor neighborhood of Rome in 1907. Her hugely successful work with these children caught the attention of many educational theorists and by 1917 the interest in her method had spread to other parts of the world. Montessori was a peace advocate throughout much of her life. She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three consecutive years. Maria Montessori died in the Netherlands in 1952, after a lifetime devoted to furthering international understanding through the education of children.
In 1960, the American Montessori Society was established by Nancy McCormick Rambusch. In addition, several teacher education programs were established, including the Montessori Teacher Education Program at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Her educational theories, including her concrete approach to education and her creation of many unique educational materials has proven to be on the cutting edge of scientific discovery. Her educational approach is proven and supported by current research into the importance of early childhood education and experiences on the developing brains of young children. There are many important tenets of the Montessori philosophy. Click here to learn more.
“If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future.”—Maria Montessori