Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Italy on August 31, 1870.
She was the first woman in Italy to earn a degree in medicine.
She also pursued study in newer disciplines of the day,
anthropology and psychiatry, two areas of interest that would
be great value to her in her work as a medical doctor and
After graduated from medical school in 1896, Dr. Maria Montessori worked in a mental hospital and came into contact with mentally deficient children. Following her interest in human development, she continues working with retarded children and studied extensively the works of Dr.Jean Itard and Dr. Edouard Seguin.
Few years later, Dr. Maria Montessori was given an opportunity to take care of a group of normal children in San Lorenzo, a poor neighborhood within Rome. Most of them were under age of 6, she opened her first Case dei Bambini (Children’s House) on January 6, 1907 for these children and continued observed, experiment, and designed methods and approaches on teaching young children.
Eventually Dr. Maria Montessori gave up her medical practice and devoted her life to training teachers in the use of her methods. She traveled extensively, lecturing and teaching throughout Europe, India, Australia and in the United States.
Through her work, she developed a vision of the whole person through all stages of development from birth through adulthood. She realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment and that the foundation of the whole personality is laid during the early years of life.
Dr. Maria Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951 and continued working, teaching and writing up to the time of her death. Today her work is carried on through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), which she founded in 1929.