About Dr. Maria Montessori
In 1896, Maria Montessori was one of the first females to graduate from the University of Rome Medical School. After joining the staff of the University’s Psychiatric Clinic, she became interested in the children who were treated there. She devoted her energies to studying and developing educational theories and to working directly with these children who began to learn things that had seemed impossible for them before. When they took an examination at a local school, the children succeeded on a par with the students there. Dr. Montessori theorized that if her methods could be so effective with children who were mentally disadvantaged, they might, if used with “normal” children, “develop or set free their personality in a marvelous and surprising way.”
In 1906, Dr. Montessori had a chance to use her innovative approach with a group of children from a slum area in Rome. Within a year, her accomplishments earned world wide acclaim as a landmark in the education of young children.
Dr. Montessori spent her life developing her philosophy and creating hands-on didactic materials appropriate to the ages of the children with whom she worked. She began formulating her approach for elementary children in 1912. She founded teacher training centers throughout the world and eventually wrote 25 books on the various aspects of her theory and practice.