Maria Montessori, the first woman doctor in Italy, was a pioneer in the field of education. Her research on children with disabilities led her to develop a revolutionary approach to teaching that focused on the individual needs of each student. This approach, known as the Montessori Method, has been used in classrooms around the world for over a century. The Montessori Method is based on the idea that children are naturally eager to learn and can do so in a well-prepared environment.
It emphasizes independence and discourages traditional performance measures such as grades and tests. Instead, it encourages students to explore their interests and develop their own skills. In 1896, Montessori opened her first Casa dei Bambini (Casa de los Niños) in Rome to teach sixty disadvantaged children. Through scientific observation of these children, she noticed that they responded to the materials with deep concentration and a sense of peace and order.
This inspired her to return to the University of Rome to study psychology and philosophy, and later teach anthropology. Montessori's theories soon began to attract the attention of outstanding educators eager to learn them. In 1914, William Heard Kilpatrick wrote a critical pamphlet about the Montessori system, limiting its spread. However, after World War II, interest in Montessori education was renewed when she traveled to California and opened a training center in the Netherlands in 1938.Today, Montessori schools are part of both public and private education systems, and Montessori influence is particularly evident in early childhood education and early childhood special education.
The American Montessori Society is thriving, as is the Association Montessori Internationale and its member societies around the world. Many people have said that their experience in Montessori education contributes to their success, raising public awareness of Montessori as an approach that helps people from all kinds of fields reach their full potential.Known for self-paced learning and independence, the Montessori Method fosters empathy, a passion for social justice and the joy of lifelong learning. It is an educational system that seeks to develop natural interests and activities rather than using formal teaching methods. It is based on Maria Montessori's scientific observations of young children's behavior and her Deployment Theory.