ECE101 Introduction to Early Childhood Education
February 14, 2011
In my studies to become an early childhood professional, the name Maria Montessori is a legendary icon. She was a world figure in education and an advocate for peace. Maria was a woman that dedicated her life to the advancement of all children. She believed that learning was a total life experience for all children, and that children of every land and culture developed in fundamentally the same way (O’Connor. Foreword, pg.6). Maria’s concepts, beliefs, and theories of education have had a very influential impact on my personal thoughts. I believe that Maria’s discoveries are valuable to anyone living or working with children in any situation.
The same year that Italy became a unified, free nation, one of the world’s greatest educators was born. Maria was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. At the age of thirteen, she began her college years at an all-boys technical school. After a couple of years focusing on mathematics, she decided she wanted to become an engineer. But by the time she graduated in the summer of 1890, she had changed her mind again. She decided she wanted to become a doctor. At this time in history, women were not permitted into medical school. Maria was self-confident, optimistic and greatly interested in change and after much perseverance and determination, Maria was the first female in Italy to receive a medical degree. She worked in the fields of psychiatry, education, and anthropology. She made her way to the United States in 1913 after being invited by Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and others. For the lifetime of commitment to the education of children, Maria was nominated for the Noble Peace Prize in 1949, 1950, and 1951 (O’Connor. Ch. 5, pg.60). Maria developed an educational theory with methods that she had found in medicine, education, and anthropology.... [continues]
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