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Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori1913.jpg
Montessori in 1913
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori

(1870-08-31)August 31, 1870
Chiaravalle, Marche, Italy
Died May 6, 1952(1952-05-06) (aged 81)
Resting place Noordwijk, Netherlands
Nationality Italian
Education University of Rome La Sapienza Medical School
Occupation Physician and educator
Known for Founder of the Montessori method of education
Children Mario Montessori Sr.
Maria Montessori signature.gif

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and doctor. She was born on 31 August 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy.

Maria Montessori created the first Montessori school. It was a method of education which respected the natural development of the child. Its main feature was to allow as much independence as possible to the individual child. Another feature was to allow mixed ages in the same classroom. This was different from the formal classroom teaching used even for young children at the time. Maria Montessori started this method when she was in charge of a school for handicapped children. Maria Montessori also founded around 1907 in San Lorenzo, a slum area of Rome, the first Casa dei Bambini ("Children's House"). She died on May 6, 1952.

Montessori method

Lire 1000 (Maria Montessori)
Italian 1000 Lire banknote (approx. 0.52 €) representing Maria Montessori.

One of Montessori's many accomplishments was the Montessori method. This is a method of education for young children that stresses the development of a child's own initiative and natural abilities, especially through practical play. This method allowed children to develop at their own pace and provided educators with a new understanding of child development. Montessori's book, The Montessori Method, presents the method in detail. Educators who followed this model set up special environments to meet the needs of students in three developmentally-meaningful age groups: 2–2.5 years, 2.5–6 years, and 6–12 years. The students learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulations, order, repetition, abstraction, and communication. Teachers encourage children in the first two age groups to use their senses to explore and manipulate materials in their immediate environment. Children in the last age group deal with abstract concepts based on their newly developed powers of reasoning, imagination, and creativity.

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