Who Was Maria Montessori?

"A child's work is to create the man he will become" Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori - who lived from 1870 to 1952 - was a brilliant and original educator, scientist, teacher, humanitarian and philosopher. She was the first woman doctor to graduate as a medical doctor. Further studies in psychology led her to work with younger children who were physically and mentally handicapped. So successful was she, that she began to question the education of normal children which, she felt, inhibited them from realising their full potential.

Maria Montessori believed that no person is educated by another - he must do it by himself or it will never be done. A child is born with a natural innate desire to learn - a natural curiosity and desire for knowledge. Dr. Montessori designed manipulative materials for all subject areas - activities which children experience sensorially and interactively. The materials in the environment build on each other in increasing complexity as part of a natural progression. All new concepts are introduced in a concrete way and the child moves towards abstraction at his own pace. All subject matter is presented in an integrated way so that the child sees how all things are inter-related.