life devoted to children
born in Chiaravalle on 13th of August 1870. She moved to Rome
where she spent her childhood and youth.
She decided to study Engineering at a time when it was a male prerogative.
After several quarrels with her family that wanted her to be a housewife,
she was allowed to attend a University of Medicine and Surgery.
She graduated in 1896 with a degree thesis in psychiatry. She was the
first doctor in Italy.
She had to
overcome several difficulties to succeed in a male only professional
environment. These difficulties touched her so much that she got to hate
men and to exclude them from her life.
first stages of her job where with disabled children. She then worked as a
researcher in Santa Maria della Pietà mental hospital in Rome in
There she focused both on sick adults and also children affected by
behaviour disorders. She soon realized that the education method used in
the structure was wrong. She committed herself to arrange a new and
innovative education method for disabled children. It was based on the
different stages of development of the child, providing a different
educational path from child to child.
that moment on Ms Montessori elaborated a teaching method that was
completely different from the one in use at the time. She revolutionized
the word "memorize". It wasn't used anymore to refer to a
process or rational learning but to a process prompted by the use of the
senses, by touching and manipulating objects.
result was so successful that disabled children gained a higher score than
normal children in a test. After that success Maria Montessori was not yet
satisfied. She was not happy that normal children could not benefit from
her method. She so opened the “House
of children” in Rome.
concept of the Montessori method is synthesized in the following sentence:
“...Montessori material educates children to autocorrect their
mistakes and also to understand their mistake without the teacher
Montessori has also been a writer. She wrote about her methods in several
books, such as "The method of
Scientific Pedagogy" published in 1909. It was translated in
several languages in order to spread the knowledge of her method worldwide.
Montessori travelled a lot in her life. She went back to Italy after the
end of the Second World War and the fall of Fascism. She died on 6th
May 1952 in Noordwijk, in Holland. Her method is still used in several
schools that have been named after her in the world.
the Nineties she was portrayed in the 1,000 Lire Italian banknotes