Maria Montessori the Person

Born in August 1870, Dr Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that is built upon the way that children learn. Dr Montessori also studied educational philosophy and anthropology and lectured at the University of Rome in teaching studies. In 1907 she highlighted the inadequacies of the education system and identified a group of children in San Lorenzo who were left to run amok at home as their parents went to work. Dr Montessori was invited to work with these children and establish a school. She called the school Casa Dei Bambini, or Children’s House, and introduced some of the educational materials that she had produced.

The Children’s House was such a wonderful success that within a couple of years she was soon providing training courses in her educational method. The notes from this training became the basis of her first book and was translated into 20 languages. Dr Montessori continued with her work, developing her method while travelling and lecturing despite being interrupted by two world wars which significantly impacted on her schools and family.

Dr Maria Montessori was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1946 addressed UNESCO on the topic of Education and Peace. Maria Montessori passed away at the age of 81 on 6 May 1952.

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