Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, innovator and activist who developed an educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn. Her medical practice originally focused on psychiatry, but she later developed an interest in education, attending classes in pedagogy and immersing herself in educational theory. Her studies led her to observe, and call into question, the prevailing methods of teaching children.
Dr. Montessori opened the first Montessori school — the Casa dei Bambini — in Rome on January 6, 1907. Using scientific observation and experience gained from her work with young children, Maria designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn and provided freedom for them to choose their own materials. The children in Maria’s programs thrived, showing concentration, attention, and spontaneous self-discipline. The success of the “Montessori Method” attracted the attention of educators, journalists, and political leaders, and by 1910, Montessori schools had been established around the world.
Planes of Development
The Prepared Environment
Uninterrupted Work Period
The Role of the Teacher