Who Was Dr. Maria Montessori ?


Maria Montessori (1870-1952) is the founder of the Montessori method of education. She was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She became the very first woman in Italy to receive a degree in medicine in 1894. She worked with disabled children in Rome as a child psychiatrist. After being appointed director of the Orthophrenic School in 1898, Maria Montessori used the environment as an educational tool to teach children with special needs. This endeavour laid the foundation of the Montessori Education Method.

Utilizing scientific observation and experience gained from her earlier work with younger children, Maria designed learning materials and a classroom environment that fostered the children’s natural desire to learn.

Maria Montessori opened her first classroom in Rome called Case dei Bambini (Children’s house) and began perfecting her method. In the following years, and for the rest of her life, Maria Montessori dedicated herself to advancing her child-centered approach to education. Through her efforts and the work of her followers, Montessori education was adopted worldwide.

Maria Montessori lived the remainder of her life in the Netherlands, which is now the headquarters of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).