Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Ancona, Italy. To understand her unique method of education it is important to know something of her background. The child of a progressive and ambitious family, she chose to study engineering and mathematics at a time when higher education for girls was considered unnecessary. Even more remarkably, she went on to qualify as the first woman Doctor in Italy’s history. It is hardly surprising therefore that from such a remarkable woman came remarkable views.
In 1907 she opened her first school, in a slum area of San Lorenzo. So encouraged was she by her results here that she began to share her discoveries with others by publishing books and giving lectures; thus the Montessori method of education was born.
In 1946 she helped found St. Nicholas in London and after her death in 1952 her innovative system was also carried on by centres in Holland, the United States, Ireland and many other parts of the world.
Dr. Maria Montessori left behind a wonderful legacy – a philosophy of life, a unique method of education; materials with which to educate and a system of training capable of producing teachers who give the children the best possible foundation for life.