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Maria Montessori

 

Dr. Maria Montessori

Founder of the Montessori Movement

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. A scholar of biology, psychiatry, anthropology and medicine she graduated from the Faculty of medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realised that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the didactic materials she provided.

She studied children of all races and cultures in many countries around the world, soon seeing the universality of the laws of human development.  She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding until her death in 1952.  Also a devoted humanitarian, she was three times nominated for the Nobel Prize for her advocacy efforts towards a more peaceful humanity.

Maria Montessori was a scientist, and as a good scientist she was earth bound and highly spiritual in her pursuit of truth.  Through her studies of educational methods, she declared two principles as the foundation of Montessori pedagogy:

  1. the universal characteristics of the human child, and
  2. the child as a unique, unrepeatable, respectable and admirable individual to be unconditionally accepted as one of life’s most marvelous expressions.

The Montessori method has since spread to every country throughout the world.  The method reached Australia in the early part of the last century and today is recognised as one of the most progressive educational methodologies of the modern world.  The first Montessori classroom was established in Blackfriars School in Sydney in 1912.  There are currently 210 schools and centres Australia wide with the appeal of this method growing steadily among all communities.


Movement is another of the child’s great acquisitions.

Maria Montessori


A child’s work is to create the man he will become. An adult works to perfect the environment but a child works to perfect himself.

Maria Montessori


Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement,
the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.

Maria Montessori


A place of beauty,simplicity and order. A place where they feel secure to trust their own powers.

Maria Montessori


The child who has never learned to act alone, to direct his own actions, to govern her own will, grows into an adult who is easily led and must always lean upon others.

Maria Montessori


Focus on the child’s needs within the context of family by recognising and responding to the unique influence that a family has in a child’s life; by working in partnership with families in meeting the child’s individual needs.

Maria Montessori


Never let a child risk failure until he has a reasonable chance of success.

Maria Montessori


The child can only develop by means of experience in his environment.

Maria Montessori