Maria Montessori made history as the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome’s School of Medicine. Dr Maria Montessori earned recognition for her work in mathematics and established sciences, alongside her exploration of emerging disciplines like anthropology and psychiatry. These areas of interest proved invaluable in her role as a scientist. Her educational philosophy was rooted in scientific observations, driven by the belief that children’s education is a means to build a better society. Conducting global observations, she discovered that the laws of development were universal and inherent in children of all races and cultures. Today, the Montessori approach to education, spanning from birth to maturity, is widely respected and practised internationally.
Montessori education views each child as a unique individual in self-formation, often equipped with accurate instincts about their next steps in growth and learning. Montessori schools foster this discovery through meticulously prepared environments supporting a child’s intellectual and spiritual growth. In Montessori classrooms, children are grouped according to developmental planes, with an age range of approximately three to six years in each level. Children engage in uninterrupted blocks of time on self-selected activities, often utilising specially designed manipulative materials that concretely illustrate abstract concepts. Emphasising freedom and responsibility, children move about the classroom at will.
Dr Maria Montessori believed children are self-constructing and naturally seek new ideas through curiosity and an innate drive to learn. She envisioned her educational method as a model for societal peace, emphasising skills of cooperation, respect, and self-control developed in a Montessori environment, leading to a happy and fulfilling life. Yet, her most significant contribution remains her gift to children — genuinely seeing, understanding, and respecting them, resulting in a unique approach to education. Her vision, established in 1907 with her first school, endures today as influential, inventive, and child-responsive. We honour Maria Montessori’s vision by adhering to the standards of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) she founded.