Her life and her methods in the 1800’s.
Maria was born in Rome, Italy in 1870 to an upper middle class family. Her parents wanted her to be a housewife, as were most women of her generation, but Maria had other ideas. In 1896, she became the first female doctor in all of Italy. It was very hard for her to become a doctor because all of the other doctors were men. The men made fun of her and threatened her. All she could do was block them out. Because of this, Maria never married. She was a member of the University's Psychiatric Clinic and became intrigued with trying to educate children with special needs. Because of her success with these children, she was asked to start a school for children in a housing project in Rome, which opened on January 6, 1907, and which she called "Casa dei Bambini" or Children's House. Children's House was a child care center in an apartment building in the poor neighborhood of Rome. She was focused on teaching the students ways to develop their own skills at a pace they set, which was a principle Montessori called "spontaneous self-development". A wide variety of special equipment of increasing complexity is used to help direct the interests of the child and hasten development. When a child is ready to learn new and more difficult tasks, the teacher guides the child's first endeavors in order to avoid wasted effort and the learning of wrong habits; otherwise the child learns alone. It has been reported that the Montessori method of teaching has enabled children to learn to read and write much more quickly and with greater facility than has otherwise been possible.
The Montessori Method of teaching concentrates on quality rather than quantity. The success of this school sparked the opening of many more, and a worldwide interest in Montessori's methods of education. [pic]
After the 1907 establishment of Montessori's first school in Rome, by 1917 there was an intense interest in her...