Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was Italy’s first woman physician. Through her scientific and medical work, she became interested in the development of the child. In 1907 Dr. Montessori established the first Children’s house in Rome. She then dedicated her life to creating educational methods based on the scientific observation of children and their developmental needs. She observed that children are happiest and most satisfied when they are concentrating on tasks that help to fulfill their inner drive toward independence. One of her most profound realizations is the idea that children learn through doing.
Dr. Montessori brought her radical notion of building an educational environment that reflects the child’s true needs to America in 1915 at the San Francisco Exposition. In later years she expanded her ideas to encompass infants, elementary, and teenage children. Throughout her life, Dr. Montessori worked tirelessly as an advocate for children. Her educational ideas and methods are in use all over the globe.
What is the Montessori Method?
The Montessori Method is a philosophy and system of education based on the child’s innate ability to develop and grow independently and at his/her own pace in a carefully prepared environment. Following his/her own developmental interests and guidance from the teacher, the child manipulates and experiments with materials in the different subject areas of the classroom. Social development takes place in a multi-age classroom with a unique atmosphere of freedom and structure founded on respect.