Dr. Maria Montessori and Her Approach
Italian born, Maria Montessori was the first female physician and turned educator, inspired after spending many years observing and working with children. For 50 years in the early 1900′s she developed an encouraging and stimulating program, where children could learn life skills to become responsible, productive, independent, and loving citizens of the world.
Her programs’ success led many other educators to adopt her method of teaching young children. Today, Montessori schools and programs are found all over the world, and her work has influenced early childhood educators at every educational level. Millions of children in Montessori Schools have benefited from the “Montessori Method” of teaching. Impressing educators throughout North America, Maria Montessori’s teaching method has become the dominant method of instruction for educating young children in the United States.
Maria Montessori mainly focused on ages 3-6 years when she first developed her methodology, and later, she developed methods for ages 0-3 years as well as 6 and up.
Maria Montessori’s approach to children, and method of teaching was developed at The Casa Dei Bambini (Children’s House). The Casa Dei Bambini was established in 1907 in San Lorenzo, Italy and marked the beginning of an educational revolution for pre-school that lasted over 100 years. At The Casa Dei Bambini, the children taught her how and when children concentrated, what they preferred, and how they learned. Use of The Casa Dei Bambini acted as a wonderful laboratory to test her ideas, methods, and special materials for education of young children. With the freedom and support to experiment with her ground-breaking ideas, Maria Montessori became known as an educator who could accomplish miracles with children who presented special challenges.
What gave her huge success in this method was her own attitude toward teaching, as she allowed children to teach her what they needed. Her respectful treatment of children, her belief in their potential, her essential goodness, and her modeling of this approach to educators and parents of young children, gave her method world-wide acclaim.