Maria Montessori, born in 1870, was the first woman in
Maria Montessori was always a little ahead of her time. At age thirteen, against the wishes of her father but with the support of her mother, she began to attend a boys' technical school. After seven years of engineering she began premed and, in 1896 became a physician. In her work at the
In 1907 she was given the opportunity to study "normal" children, taking charge of fifty poor children of the dirty, desolate streets of the
Invited to the
During World War II Dr. Montessori was forced into exile from
Since her death in 1952 an interest in Dr. Montessori's methods have continued to spread throughout the world. Her message to those who emulated her was always to turn one's attention to the child, to "follow the child". It is because of this basic tenet, and the observation guidelines left by her, that Dr. Montessori's ideas will never become obsolete.
Many people, hearing of the high academic level reached by students in this system of education, miss the point and think that Montessori math manipulative (as an example) is all there is to the Montessori method. It is easy to acquire materials and to take short courses to learn to use them, but the real value of Montessori takes long and thorough training for the adult.
The potential of the child is not just mental, but is revealed only when the complete "Montessori method" is understood and followed. The child's choice, practical work, care of others and the environment, and above all the high levels of concentration reached when work is respected and not interrupted, reveal a human being that is superior not only academically, but emotionally and spiritually, a child who cares deeply about other people and the world, and who works to discover a unique and individual way to contribute. This is the essence of real "Montessori" work today.
The above is an exerpt from a handout I was given during my Montessori training. It is a limited account of an amazing woman's wealthy life. For more information about Dr. Montessori and the Montessori Method you can visit many of the inspiring links I have listed.
At the Children’s House I am privileged to be a part of, we strive to prepare the most natural and life supporting environment for children; continually adapting the environment in order that the children may fulfill their greatest potential -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. We follow the inspiring teachings of Dr. Montessori and aspire to provide the children with a space where they feel respected, important and loved.
Thank you Maria for inspiring so many and creating a method and philosophy that rings true in my heart.