Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Maria!

Today is the anniversary of Maria Montessori's birth. Written in Italian on a commemorative tablet at the Montessori family grave in Rome are these words:
Maria Montessori
1870 - 1952
Famous scientist and pedagogue
who dedicated her entire life to the
spiritual renewal and to the progress
of humanity through the child.
She rests in a Catholic cemetery
Noordwijk (Holland) far away from the
country she had so profoundly loved, far
from her loved ones buried here. This she
decided, to give testimony to the universality of her work, which made her a citizen of the world.

Universally she is renowned as a physician who became an educational innovator ~a woman who removed rigid benches from classrooms and replaced them with small movable tables and chairs. In this comfortable environment, filled with ingenious materials of her own design, she invited children, ages three through six, to select work according to their own interests, thus taking advantage of their individual sensitive periods for learning. The teacher who had formally been seen as the source of all knowledge and discipline in the classroom, became a gentle guide who prepared the environment, intensely observed each child, demonstrated the materials that the children had individually chosen and encouraged the children in self discipline.
This is how the world knows Montessori, but how many know that behind all her educational efforts was her continuous desired to reform humanity ~ to uncover the true nature of the child ~ in order, ultimately, to bring peace and harmony to the world?
~from Aline D Wolf's Nurturing the Spirit

"The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities." ~ Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind

Montessori Mama
PS I drew this picture long ago but have been reluctant to share it because I dislike the pearls. Oh well, it's one of those things I wish I could do over but time has never allowed me. So enjoy the sentiment & ignore the pearls.

1 comment:

plaidshoes said...

Happy Birthday Maria!

PS. I like the picture, I didn't even notice the pearls until you mentioned them (you are too hard on yourself!). ;-)

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