“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”
History of Montessori
The Montessori philosophy and methodology were developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, during the first half of the twentieth century. She founded the first Montessori school “Casa Di Bambini” or Children’s House in the slums of Rome in 1907. Her first class consisted of around 50 children suffering from poverty and neglect.
Dr. Montessori believed that the goal of the educational process was to be a help to life and that it should encourage a child’s natural desire to learn. Maria Montessori based her philosophy of education on the human tendencies she observed within the child, these include the need to explore, to move, to share with a group, to be independent and make decisions, to create order, to develop self-control, to abstract ideas from experience, to use creative imagination, to work hard, to repeat, concentrate, and perfect one’s efforts and creations.
Awareness of Montessori’s work spread across the globe. She received praise and support from many well-known individuals, including Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison. She was invited to the White House, addressed the United Nations and lectured to capacity crowds at Carnegie Hall. Living through a time of many wars, Dr. Montessori advocated that education was humanity’s greatest hope for creating a peaceful world and was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1949, 1950 and 1951. After a lifetime of serving children, Maria Montessori died in Holland in 1952.