Dr. Maria Montessori
The Woman, The Educator
“Education of even a very small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school but for life.”
“Our aim is not merely to make children understand, and less to force them to memorize but so to touch their imaginations as to enthuse them to their innermost core.”
Maria Montessori was born at Chiaravelle, Italy on August 31, 1870. Despite the disapproval of her own father, as well as prejudices of both professors and fellow students, she graduated with honors and became Italy’s first female physician. In 1899, she began a study of educational problems of handicapped children. Working in line, first laid down by the French physician E. Seguin, she achieved startling results and the children under her tutelage, passed the state examination in reading and writing for normal children. Dr. Montessori concluded that similar methods might also be successfully applied to younger normal children. The Casa dei Bambini or House of Children developed in its first year a revolutionary worldwide fame for the Montessori System. With a Montessori prepared environment, doubled with the teacher’s guidance, children flourished in their development of independence, self-discipline, social grace and cognition. In the years that followed, the “DOTTORESSA” (female) physician, feminist, social reformer, and educator became one of the most admired, influential, and controversial women of the century. Her later years were spent supervising training courses in Spain, India, England and the Netherlands. She died at Noordwijk, Netherlands on May 6, 1952.