Maria Montessori was born in 1871 to a prominent family. In 1896, she became the first woman in Italy ever to be admitted into medical school and she subsequently became the first female medical doctor in all of Italy. In 1904, Dr. Montessori became professor of anthropology at the University of Rome.
In 1907, she opened a clinic in Rome for children with learning disabilities and physical disorders. At the clinic, known as Casa Dei Bambini, Dr. Montessori applied scientific observation to the needs of the child and discovered the child’s need for intellectual stimulation. She began to design her unique auto-didactic materials that have come to be known as the Montessori Equipment. Dr. Montessori’s unique educational program has come to be known as the Montessori Method and today, it is practiced successfully around the world. She died in 1952 after having been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times. She had only one child, Mario Montessori, who was a student of Dr. Montessori and one of our school’s founders.
This system of education is both a philosophy of child development and a rationale for guiding such growth. It is based on two important developmental needs of children; The need for self-directed freedom within limits and a carefully prepared environment providing exposure to materials and experiences meant to enhance all aspects of development. Through these developmental needs, the child develops intelligence as well as physical and psychological abilities. The Montessori method of education is designed to take full advantage of the childrens desire to learn and their unique ability to develop their own capabilities. Children need adults to expose them to the possibilities of their lives, but the children must determine their response to all the possibilities. The main premises of Montessori education are:
Children have a deep love and need for purposeful work. They work, however, not as an adult for the completion of a job, but the sake of an activity itself. It is this activity which enables them to accomplish their most important goal: the development of their individual selves – their mental, physical and psychological powers.