Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona by the Adriatic coast of Italy, in 1870. Her parents, Alessandro Montessori and Renilde Stoppani were of upper middle class. Her father studied Debate and Mathematics and was a member of “The Establishment”. Her mother, Renilde, was the niece of the famous Antonio Stoppani – philosopher and scientist.
At the age of six Maria went into elementary school and after three years she started studying Elementary Science, History, Geography, and developed an avid interest in Mathematics – something she seemed to share with her father. In order to obtain an advantageous education, Maria’s family moved to Rome when she was 11. Her parents encouraged her to go into a teaching career as this was the only available job for women at the time. Her father had wished for her to take the Classics Course which was thought to be the most fitting course for women.
However, Maria had an interest in other areas and found that the school that gave the subjects she was interested in was a Technical School. She was encouraged by her father and allowed to enter the Regia Tecnica Michelangelo Buonarroti. Throughout her time at the college, she studied French, German, English, Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.
She graduated at the age of 13, her father still had hopes for her to become a teacher but Maria had other ideas. She had an interest in engineering and despite her father’s objections, decided to pursue this career. When Montessori was 13 she attended an all-boy school in preparation for her engineering career.
While in college she became interested in physics and then biology however and decided to enroll in the University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School. This brought more distress upon her father as no woman had ever studied Medicine in Italy before. During her time at the technical college she gained superb scores in Natural Sciences and Modern Languages. Once she was qualified for the...
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