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Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori
Dr. Maria Tecla Artemesia MontessoriPhysician, Professor, Intellectual, and Educator
Prepared by Jennifer Ordonez
BirthMaria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Marceh, Italy to her father, Alessandro Montessori, an official of the Ministry of Finance who worked in the local state-run tobacco factory, and to her mother, Renidle Stoppani, a well-educated Italian women, who was eight years younger than her husband. Maria was the only child. Her family moved to Florence in 1873 and then to Rome in 1875, where she spent most of her childhood.
Early EducationAt the age of 13, Maria attended an all boy technical institute to prepare for a career in engineering. However, by the time she graduated at the age of 16, she changed her mind and decided that she wanted to be a doctor instead. She applied to the University of Romes medical program, but was denied because they did not admit women into the medical program. So, she enrolled at the University of Rome to study physics, math, and natural sciences. Her hard work and dedication to her studies, along with her persistency, finally gained her admittance into the University of Romes medical program.
Medical schoolWhile in medical school, Maria was constantly harassed by some of the medical students and professors because she was a female. However, that did not keep Maria from graduating medical school in 1896 as one of Italys first female physicians.
FamilyMaria did have one son, named Mario Montessori, on March 31, 1898. Maria was never married. She was having a love affair with another doctor named Dr. Montesano. There are two different versions of what occurred after the birth of her son.One source states that both families were against the relationship and opposed marriage, so when Mario was born, in order to keep the birth a secret, Mario was sent to a wet nurse in Rome, where Maria would occasionally come to visit her child. However, according to another source, the two of them wanted to keep their relationship a secret, under the condition that neither of them would ever marry. However, Dr. Montesano fell in love and married someone else. Maria felt betrayed so she placed her son in foster care, but was reunited with him during his teen years.
Early CareerMarias early medical practice was focused on psychiatry. She worked at the Universitys psychiatric clinic, working with and researching children with disabilities. She developed an interest in education, so she began taking classes on pedagogy and engaged herself in education theories. She visited asylums and observed children with mental disabilities. With the help of these observations and the experience she gained from her work with young children, Maria designed learning material and a classroom environment that promoted a childs natural desire to learn.
AccomplishmentsIn 1899, Maria Montessori because the director of a practice demonstration school, established by the National League for Retarded children.
The first Montessori schoolMaria Montessori was interested in applying her work and methods to children who were mentally normal, so opened the first Montessori school in Rome, in a poor inner-city district, on January 6, 1907. There were approximately 60 children between the ages of two and six enrolled at this school. News of the schools success soon spread throughout Italy, and by 1910 Montessori schools were acclaimed worldwide.
The Montessori MethodNot only did Maria developed a program to help teachers prepare to teach using the Montessori Method, but she also wrote many articles and books.
The Absorbent Mind
The Secret of Childhood
The Discovery of the Child
From Childhood to Adolescence
Some Books written by Maria MontessoriThe Advanced Montessori Method
The Formation of Man
Education and Peace
The Child in the Family
The Basic Montessori conceptsInstead of the child paying attention to the teacher, the teacher must pay attention to the child. Maria believed that you should follow the child and they will show you what they need to do, what areas they need to develop in and where you need to challenge them.The child will learn at his or her own pace in a prepared environment organized to offer various methods of learning. Maria believed that kids should be in a beautiful, well prepared area that invites them to have freedom of movement.Providing imaginative teaching materials is the most important part of the teaching process. Maria observed that children learn without anyone teaching them. Allow the child to see his or her own mistakes, and learn from them. Maria believed that there is never any need to point out a childs mistake, however there is a way to make them realize it by showing them a different way to do it.
Ideas central to the Montessori methodA Montessori classroom should be set up into several different areas, including but not limited to sensory (learning through sight, sound, taste, touch and smell), math, language, culture, science, art, and imaginative life play center.A prepared environment that is calm and well organized. A prepared environment invites a child to be free. When the child is able to do things for themselves, there is an increase in their self-belief and self-confidence that they will carry on throughout life.Children are grouped by 3 year age ranges, for example, ages 3-6. This is done so that the older child can be a model for the younger children. Children should be treated with respect. Children are then expected to respect their environment, themselves, and others.
The Montessori environment calls for an ordered environment, that allows the child to focus on the things that interest them, which in turns enables the child to absorb the experience and learn quickly.Reward the child with external awards like a smile or a pat on the backThe role of a Montessori teacher is NEVER to lecture but instead to inspire, demonstrate, and facilitate.When a teacher believes that the child is ready for a new activity, a formal presentation is planned and presented based on the childs interest, abilities, and sensitive period.Ideas central to the Montessori method (cont)
Montessori Education todayThrough her efforts and the hard work of her followers, Montessori education has been adopted worldwide. Today there are more than 22,000 Montessori schools in a least 100 countries worldwide.
Public figureMaria Montessori was known as an advocate for womens rights. She wrote and spoke often on the need for equal and greater opportunities for women. She was recognized in Italy as a leading feminist voice.
DeathMario Montessori died on May 6, 1952, at age 82, in Noordwijk, Netherlands peacefully in a friends garden.
The Importance that montessori education has in todays classroomFamily life is emphasized as the natural unit for nurture and protectionChildren discover on their own needs A positive self image is developed through work and real accomplishmentsA child gets connected to nature so that they can see the importance of itIt brings out the childs instinct for work
Resources"History of Montessori Education." American Montessori Society. The Berndt Group, 2013. Web. 14 Sept. 2013. .National Association for the Education of Young Children. Montessori in Perspective. Washington, 1966. Print. Publication, N No. 406.Montessori, Maria. The Montessori Method. Radford: Wilder Publication, LLC, 2008. Print. Britton, Lesley. Montessori Play & Learn: A Parents Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six. New York: Crown, 1992. Print.
Kramer, Rita. Maria Montessori: A Biography. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub., 1988. Print.