Montessori History

Written by Tara Peris
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The Montessori history dates back nearly 100 years, to a pioneering Italian physician. Drawing on both her formal academic training as well as her firsthand experiences with children, Dr. Maria Montessori crafted an educational program to enhance both body and mind. In the decades since its inception, Montessori teaching has become one of the most widely used and scientifically supported approaches to education.

Maria Montessori was the first Italian woman to obtain a degree in medicine. Her appreciation of science and her astute clinical skills prompted her to undertake a study of children and how they learn. This socio-cultural examination eventually earned her a doctorate in Anthropology, making her a true maverick of her time.

A Brief Montessori History

Although Dr. Montessori had all the makings of an excellent university professor, her true love was with children, and she devoted her efforts to understanding the factors that influenced their learning and behavior. Her first formal study was conducted with 60 children in Rome who participated in her pilot education program.

The program was based on theory and clinical observations suggesting that children learn from their environments, and from hands-on interaction with stimulating materials. Within this framework, all manner of stimuli could serve as learning tools, provided they were looked upon in the right light. The success of her experiential learning approach spawned numerous other academic programs, and has left an impressive legacy in the field of education.

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