Question: 1) Discuss the Life and Works of Dr. Maria Montessori and why is she referred to as a lady much ahead of her time? Answer:
Introduction of Dr. Maria Montessori:
In present age we all are familiar with Montessori Education System. But very few of us know that it is named after “Dr. Maria Montessori”; an MBBS Doctor, who was the first female physician of France in her time. Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Ancona Italy on 31st August, 1870. She belonged to middle –class family. Since her childhood, she was very fond of education. Her father was a typical strict military person, but her mother helped her throughout her study period in yearning of education. Due to the postings of his father in different cities, she got opportunity to study in the top schools of all over Italy. As the result of her hard work and struggle, she passed her Medical from the Medical School of the University of Rome with honors in 1896. She was the first female physician in Italy. Work with Special Children:
Because of her innovative nature, Montessori did not want to adopt education as a career, because at that time only three fields were considered best for females; teaching, home-making and convent. But her luck proved her the best educationist of her time. Dr. Maria Montessori held very scientific approach, as compare the traditional approach of educationist of her time. It was the result of her specialization in Pediatrics and in the new filed of psychiatry. After her graduation, Montessori taught at the Medical School of the University of Rome, and through its free clinics she found an opportunity to observe children of all classes, including poor and working class. She noted and then convinced by the attitude of poor children that intelligence is not the heredity of upper-class. Intelligence is found in almost all children, they just need opportunities and best ways to express it in an untraditional way. She proved herself competent in her field and just after four years in 1900, she was appointed as Director of the new “Orthophrenic School attached to the University of Rome, formerly a municipal asylum for the “Deficient and insane” (special) children of the city, most of whom would be diagnosed in the twenty-first century as autistic or mentally disabled. Efforts of Dr. Maria Montessori for the betterment of Special Children: The children remained in very pathetic condition. One day Montessori inquired from a nurse about their awful condition, staff replied that they fought for bread and food and during this they threw themselves on floor to catch food. Moreover, the children were kept in the dark and small room which looked like prison. They were given less food and treated like animals. * Dr. Maria and her colleagues decided to start a campaign for the betterment of those children. * She noticed that these innocent kids required special care and meaningful activities which could stimulate their senses and mind and add into their self- esteem, and the senses of achievement. * Montessori dismissed a large number of staff who treated children like the inferior ones. This create crisis in management but she managed to teach them so systematically that management problem did not prolonged. Inspiration from Itard and Seguin:
In order to enhance her abilities in the field of Education, and to learn about the successful and influential ways about children , Dr. Maria browsed for almost one year (from 1900-1901) the Libraries of Western Europe. In her search she discovered two forgotten French Doctors of Eighteen and Nineteenth centuries: Jean –Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775-1838) and Edourad Seguin (1812-1880). Jean –Marc-Gaspard Itard (1775-1838):
Dr. Itard based her studies on a wild boy named “Wild boy of Aveyron”, who was caught from Jungle naked and wild. The boy was totally ignorant about the civilized human life and even did not speak. Itard searched an old answer from him that
“How much intelligence a human being...
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