Who was Dr. Maria Montessori?
Dr. Maria Montessori 1870-1952
Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. Her family moved to Rome in 1875 allowing Maria to receive a better education. She entered technical school at the age of 13 where she studied engineering. In 1896, she entered medical school at the University of Rome. Maria graduated from medical school making her the first woman to become a physician in the modern era. After graduation she was appointed as a surgical assistant at Santo Spirito hospital while also working at the children's hospital. In 1901, Maria returned to the University of Rome to study psychology and philosophy. There she became a professor of anthropology.
In 1900, she began to direct a small school in Rome for "challenged youth". This is where Maria developed the "Montessori Method". As Maria's method grew, she watched children become confident and have self-respect as they learned to read and write. Maria then devoted her life developing schools throughout Europe and North America.
Maria was an educator, scientist, physician, philosopher, feminist and humanitarian who aimed to help free a child's mind and desired for them to learn without negative input. Her approach focuses on the needs, talents, gifts, and special individuality. She wanted each child to be independent, self-reliant and have a love of learning.
“ Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.”