Maria Montessori was a person of great depth and insight. She was Italy’s first female doctor before stepping into the field for which she is so well known: early childhood education. She was an ambassador for world peace and the UNICEF Charter of Human Rights and Convention on the Rights of the Child were adopted directly from her.
Her deep commitment to children led her to become a champion in the research and development of their education. Doctor Montessori concluded that children have a natural love of life and learning which needed to be nurtured, not taken for granted.
This philosophy was put into practice in her first Montessori school in Rome in 1907 and has become her legacy to the children today in thousands of Montessori schools worldwide.
Maria Montessori was born in Italy, at Chiaravalle in the province of Ancona, on 31st August, 1870. Unusual in her day, Maria enrolled as a medical student, the first woman in Italy to do so and continued on to become a doctor, taking her degree in 1894.
Sometime after graduation, and as assistant doctor at the Psychiatric Clinic at the University of Rome, she became interested in the so called ‘idiot children’ of her day and later in the work of Izard and Séguin, two pioneers in the education of children.
A series of lectures by Montessori on Moral Education drew the attention of the then Italian Minister of Education and resulted ultimately in Maria Montessori becoming the Director of the school for hopelessly deficient children. Some of these hopelessly deficient children later went on to compete successfully in public examinations!
It was perhaps because of the accolades Montessori received for her work that she began to wonder what was happening to normal children that her pupils equaled them – thoughts that must surely have been the turning point in her life and the foundation upon which her incredible dedication came to be built.
In 1907 Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini (“Children’s House”) in a slum area of Rome. It was attended by sixty normal slum children, children who were to be dubbed the New Children by international media representatives that deluged the school.
From that time, literally until her death at the age of eighty-one, Maria Montessori continued to develop her philosophy, techniques and materials, she lectured worldwide, published many books, trained teachers and established the standards and oversaw the spread of what is now known as the “Montessori Method”.
Maria Montessori died in Holland on 6th May, 1952.
Remarkably, what was viewed initially as an innovative and significant change to traditional thinking about education in Dr Montessori’s day, is today still seen as progressive. So many new initiatives in 21st Century education are based on or align very closely with the Montessori Method. This is why we say that Northside Montessori school is a progressive school based on proven and well-researched methodology so that parents can expect extraordinary outcomes for their child.
Not only does the Montessori Method provide for the everyday child it provides for the gifted and talented as well. The approach she propounded is why children at Northside Montessori school today are able to excel academically and achieve remarkable learning outcomes. So many high achieving and creative thinkers in today’s modern society attribute their success to the Montessori Method.