Biography of Dr. Maria Montessori
"Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole, which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future." — Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, Italy, on August 31, 1870. She graduated from medical school in 1896 and went on to become one of the first female physicians in Italy.
While working as a medical doctor her observations led her to analyze how children learn. She recognized that children are a product of their environment and strived to understand more. She returned to school in 1901 to study psychology and philosophy.
Upon graduation Maria Montessori began teaching Anthropology at the University of Rome, but her desire to work with children was so great that she gave up her university position and medical practice to work in San Lorenzo district of Rome with a group of 60 children of working parents.
On January 6, 1907 Maria Montessori founded the first Casa Dei Bambini, or "Children's House" and began developing the Montessori Method of education. The Montessori method of education is based on Maria Montessori's scientific observations of the children at Casa Dei Bambini.
Maria Montessori deduced that children teach themselves through tireless manipulation of materials and absorb information constantly. This motivated her lifelong pursuit of educational reform, teaching and educator training. She was dedicated to the self-creating process of the child.
Important people in history including Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Helen Keller were among her first devotees. Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the first American Montessori Educational Association in Washington DC.
Governments and peoples around the world recognize Maria Montessori as a revolutionary educator, scientist, physician, feminist and humanitarian.