About Montessori

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Dr. Maria Montessori

Nominated three times for the Noble Peace Prize in 1949, 1950, and 1951, Dr. Maria Montessori was an education pioneer who established the Montessori Method . Born in Italy, she became the first woman doctor in that country. Shortly after, her desire to help children was so strong that she gave up her medical practice in order to work with children of working-parents. There, she established what is now known as the Montessori Method (of education) and the first “Children’s House” (Casa de Bambini).

Dr. Maria Montessori, through her observations, realized that children learn to absorb their environment effortlessly. It was through these observations that specialized materials and equipment were designed, so that children could do work without requiring much assistance from the adult. Throughout the years, many who studied under her made their own significant contributions to education and child psychology, including Anna Freud, Jean Piaget, Alfred Adler, and Erik Erikson.

She is credited with the development of the “open classroom”, individualized education, hands-on learning materials, child-size tables and chairs and systematic instruction. In the last 35 years, educators in Europe and North America have begun to recognize the consistency of the Montessori approach, based on extensive research about child development.

Throughout her career as an educator, Dr. Maria Montessori visited many countries, including her first visit to the United States in 1913. It was at this time that the Montessori Education Association was founded in Washington, DC by Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel. She had staunch supporters such as Thomas Edison and Helen Keller. In the years ahead, she traveled throughout Europe and Asia giving lectures and establishing Teacher Training Institutions. Dr. Montessori died in Noordwijk, Holland in 1952; yet her work lives on through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), and through the dedicated schools and Montessori organizations.

For additional information about Dr. Maria Montessori, her life work, the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) and the Montessori Method of Education, please visit this link.

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