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Maria Montessori


Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 31st August, 1870. On graduation as the first woman doctor in Italy, Dr Montessori developed an interest in the education of young children. She gave up her medical practice, went back to university to study psychology and philosophy and started working with a group of working parents in the San Lorenzo district of Rome. It was here that she founded the first Casa dei Bambini or "children's House". This was the forerunner of the Montessori School, as we know today.

As a result of her medical background, she approached education not as an educator or a philosopher, but as a scientist. The Montessori Method of education was developed over many years of observation of children and the development of many ideas and materials that would help them achieve their full potential. Her theories were tailored to the needs of the growing child and sprang from Montessori's intense love and respect for all children. Her work soon became widely known and she travelled the world, establishing schools and lecturing about her discoveries. She wrote numerous books and many articles until her death in 1952 at the age of 82. She left the world a legacy of a method of education, which combines a practical approach, based on the carefully planned learning environment, with a philosophy centered on the idea of developing independence in the child. She believed all children are intrinsically motivated to learn and that they absorb knowledge without effort, when provided with the right kind of activities, at theright time in their development.

She was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize three times in 1940, 1950, and 1951, with a move a foot again this year (2002) re-nominate her.
 
 

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