THE MONTESSORI METHOD
The Montessori Method, which is based on the work of Dr. Maria Montessori, can be thought of as an “aid to life” — a means of helping the child achieve his fullest potential.
Dr. Montessori was born in 1870, and in 1896 she became the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome with a medical degree. While working at the University’s Psychiatric Clinic, Dr. Montessori focused her attention on children with special needs.
Through her years of work and observation with many children throughout the world, she found that the environment had tremendous influence on the development of the child. Dr. Montessori discovered the unique way that young children acquire knowledge and culture and prepared a learning environment that greatly benefited all children.
On January 6, 1907, Maria Montessori opened her first “Casa dei Bambini”, or Children’s House, which was a school for children below six years of age. Dr. Montessori had so much success with her new undertaking, that schools worldwide began adopting her methods. The success has continued to the present day, with thousands of Montessori schools in the United States alone.
Throughout her life, Montessori traveled the world helping to start schools in new countries – she spent a great deal of time, for instance, in India. As a result of her work and her method’s effectiveness, Montessori education is well-known around the world – and is in many places more prominent than in the US.
Montessori also believed that education could and should be a root of peace in the world. As a survivor of two World Wars, she wrote and spoke extensively on this subject and engaged with leaders around Europe. In particular she wanted to help change thinking about how to make the future a more peaceful one through work with children.