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Montessori, Maria

Born: 1870 AD
Died: 1952 AD, at 81 years of age.

Nationality: Italian
Categories: Educators


1870 - Born on August 31st in Chiaravalle, near Ancona, Italy. Italian educator and originator of the educational system that bears her name. The Montessori system is based on belief in the child's creative potential, his drive to learn, and his right to be treated as an individual.

1894 - After graduating in medicine from the University of Rome—the first woman in Italy to do so—Montessori was appointed assistant doctor at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Rome, where she became interested in the educational problems of mentally retarded children.

1896-1908 - She served as director of the State Orthophrenic School of Rome, where her methods proved extremely successful.

         - She held a chair in hygiene at a women's college in Rome, and she lectured in pedagogy at the University of Rome, holding a chair in anthropology. During these years she continued her studies of philosophy, psychology, and education.

         - Montessori opened the first Casa dei Bambini (“Children's House”), a school for young children from the San Lorenzo slum district of Rome, applying her methods now to children of normal intelligence.

1909 - Montessori's methods are set forth in such books as Il metodo della pedagogia scientifica (The Montessori Method), The Advanced Montessori Method, The Secret of Childhood, Education for a New World, To Educate the Human Potential, and La mente assorbente (The Absorbent Mind).

1922-1934 - She was appointed government inspector of schools in Italy, but left the country because of the Fascist rule. After periods in Spain and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), she settled in The Netherlands.

1952 - She died on May 6th in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherland.


Page last updated: 4:14pm, 12th Apr '07

  • "The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity."
  • "The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon."
  • "We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master."