What is Montessori?
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Dr. Maria Montessori is the founder of Montessori System of Education. She was Italy’s first lady doctor. She, a medical doctor by profession, turned out to be the world’s most influential educator of all times.
Her scientific bent of mind drove her to observe the children and discover their pedagogical and developmental needs. She found out that traditional education is incompatible with natural developmental and learning patterns. It is oppressive and a hindrance to the wholesome development of the faculties of the mind and the body.
She opened her first Casa dei Bambini (House of Children) in 1907 in Rome. Like a scientist, she observed her children and developed materials and teaching strategies, which were compatible with their natural urges and drives. She tested her findings and shared them with a good group of friends who would verify and report back. It took her nearly twenty years to say that she had developed a system of educating children, which is called Montessori System. She believed that her method of education could cause the complete regeneration of mankind.
She got many recognitions for her work. She was asked to represent Italy at many conferences and occasions. She was nominated thrice for the Noble Peace Prize. She was pictured on a 1000 Lire note and a 200 Lire coin of Italy. Leaders, educators, scientists, scholars, and people from all fields of life praised her work. She wrote many books on her method and conducted Montessori training programs all over the world. Thousands of schools, that followed Montessori system, opened all over the world. Today, even after the lapse of more than a hundred years Montessori system still proves to be superior to other educational systems in every new research. It stands true when people say that she was “a woman much ahead of her time”.