Educational trailblazer Maria Montessori was born in a small town in Italy in 1870. As a young girl, she was an avid reader and an excellent student, but she was bored in school. So she created games and puzzles that made learning fun. She wanted to study science, but in those days only boys were taught those subjects. But she didn’t let that stop her! At age 13 she enrolled in an all-boys technical institute to study engineering.
Maria ultimately became the first woman in Italy to go to medical school. After graduation, she got a job as an assistant doctor at a mental health clinic. She worked with intellectually and developmentally disabled children. She encouraged them to believe in themselves and taught them games to help them learn, just like she did in her childhood. Her students made lots of progress and her method of teaching was deemed a success.
Next Maria decided to open her own school. She believed that children could teach themselves better than a teacher could. Her method focuses on allowing children to DISCOVER for themselves. They learn through play, exploration, and creativity. Each child is given the freedom to choose their own path of learning.
The students at Maria’s school thrived, so she wrote a book detailing her child-centered teaching method. She traveled all around the world speaking on the Montessori Method and sharing her work with educators. Today there are thousands of Montessori Schools across the globe. Through her teaching method, Maria has inspired children to DISCOVER the world for themselves.