Maria Montessori was considered ahead of her time. She was born in Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy in 1870 to an educated but not wealthy family. Despite her father's wishes and society's conservative ways at the time, she studied science. She was the first female physician in Italy when she graduated medical school in 1896. She worked mostly with the poor because she saw vast potential in them. She was an unselfish person and she traveled Italy speaking of women's rights and child labor law reforms. Not too long after graduating she was chosen to represent Italy in two different women's conferences. They were at Berlin in 1896 and also in London in 1900. Maria was appointed a professor of anthropology at the University of Rome in 1904. Maria's desire to help children drove her to give up her university chair and medical practice in 1906 to work with a group of sixty young children that had parents who worked. She founded a "Children's House" in Lorenzo, a district of Rome. What is now known as the Montessori method of education developed there. Everything Maria developed was based upon her observations of the children and how they do things naturally without help from adults. Maria made a total of two trips to the U.S. where she had supporters such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Helen Keller. She was renowned world wide for her "glass house" schoolroom exhibit at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. Maria opened many research facilities and training centers and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times in 1949, 1950, and 1951.
Maria was inspired by the theory that "Children teach themselves". She believed in the "self-creating process of children". Montessori education is based on a flow experience. It is built on the constant self-construction of a child as time goes by. Montessori schools have prepared environments for children where they can achieve an uninterrupted education, a continuum....
Bibliography: Author 's name omitted by request. "Maria Montessori biography" [Online] Available
http://mama.essortment.com/mariamontessori_ruqj.htm, Copyright 2001 by PageWise, Inc.
North American Montessori Teachers ' Association. "Maria Montessori: A Brief Biography" [Online] Available
http://www.montessori-namta.org/generalinfo/biog.html, Copyright 1996-2001 by North American Montessori Teachers ' Association.
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