Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was Italy's first woman to attain a doctorate in medicine and become a practicing physician in 1896. She worked in the fields of psychiatry, anthropology, and education. Her views on education, which evolved into the Montessori Method, were revolutionary at the time. Maria Montessori's first school, Casa dei Bambini (the "Home of the Children" or "Children's House"), was opened in 1907 for 60 children in a slum of Rome, Italy. She believed that by keenly observing each child and creating an environment prepared to meet his or her needs, that the child's innate and effortless capabilities for learning would manifest. Other crucial aspects of her educational philosophy were the acknowledgment of the young child's need of movement and freedom with limits. Two key books, written by Dr. Montessori are The Montessori Method (1916) and The Absorbent Mind (1949). She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize (1949, 1950, & 1951), acknowledging her work and writings dealing with education and peace. Today there are Montessori schools around the world, from birth through the high school years. These schools carry on Dr. Maria Montessori's dedicated work of honoring the needs and dignity of children.
• The "Absorbent Mind" was how Dr. Montessori described the mind of the young child, ages birth to 6. She illuminated the effortless quality for learning in young children and the sponge-like "soaking in" of the environment and the child's culture.
• Prepared Environment
• Freedom with Limits