About Us / About Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was born 1870 in Italy. In 1896 she became the first female Doctor of Medicine in Italy. She championed the causes of women and child labor practices of her day. In 1907, Dr. Montessori opened the first children’s house, Casa Dei Bambini, in Rome. She designed materials and observed that the children preferred to work over play, that they loved repeating activities, preferred silence, and had a great sense of joy in their work. Based on these observations, she developed the Montessori method and equipment which the children are readily attracted to and work with. Dr. Montessori passed in 1952. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Montessori method of education is based on observation and on the principle of freedom in a prepared environment. The children working in a prepared environment have a greater ability to concentrate, prefer order, choose activities readily, have a serene sense of personal dignity, explode into writing and reading, and have an internal discipline. The child experiences these qualities in a prepared Montessori environment where the adult has been trained in the correct use of material and the Montessori philosophy. In this environment the child has opportunities for concrete experiences which leads to abstractions for later academic work. The Montessori classroom is designed for a child to engage in self-directed activity, grace and courtesy, purposeful movement, and quiet order.
Dr. Montessori was a well known personality. Some of the ardent supporters of her philosophy include Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Gandhi, Sigmund Freud, Henry Ford, Jean Piaget, Anne Frank, Leo Tolstoy, Bertrand Russell, and the Dalai Lama.