Born August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle in the Province of Ancona, Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896.Dr. Montessori was not permitted to practice medicine in Italy’s hospitals, so in 1907, Maria Montessori founded her first school, Casa de Bambini or “Children’s House”.
Through careful observation of children, Montessori learned, “A child’s work is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect the environment, but a child works to perfect himself.” Through careful observation, Dr. Montessori discovered that the most important years of growth are the first six years of life when unconscious learning is gradually brought to the conscious level. Children are to be respected as different from adults, and as individuals who differ from each other.
To take full advantage of the first six years of life, Dr. Montessori developed highly specialized materials and strategies based upon the child’s needs and interests and created a prepared, child-centered environment to promote self-motivation and develop to their fullest potential. The child needs adults to expose him to the possibilities of his life, but the child himself must direct his response to those possibilities.
Suggested Montessori Books for Reading:
“The Secret of Childhood”, by Maria Montessori
“The Absorbent Mind”, by Maria Montessori
“The Discovery of the Child”, by Maria Montessori
“Education & Peace”, by Maria Montessori
- The information above is courtesy of Paula Lillard, author of:
Montessori – A Modern Approach