Maria Montessori (1870-1953) was an Italian physician, educator, philosopher, and three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She became the very first woman in Italy to receive a degree in medicine in 1894. She worked with disabled children in Rome as a child psychiatrist. After being appointed director of the Orthopehrenic School in 1898, Maria Montessori taught special needs children using their environment as the educational tool. This endeavor laid the foundation for what we know today as the Montessori Education Method. Maria Montessori believed that if her method would work for disabled children then it could be used to benefit normal children in a powerful way. She once said, "Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world."
Naturally, wanting to help improve education and spread love for learning with others, Maria Montessori opened her first day care in Rome. It was called Case dei Bambini (Children's house) and was where she began perfecting her method. Maria Montessori realized success in Rome with the Children's House. Her ideas and understanding of the child psyche began to spread to other parts of the world. The first Montessori school in the United States was established in Tarrytown, NY in the year 1912. And in other regions of the world, such as Europe and India, Montessori schools were growing rapidly.
As Montessori became a powerful influence in India, Maria Montessori interned at the Theosophical Society of India from 1939 to 1049. Here she created the Training Courses with the aid of her son Mario Montessori. Maria Montessori lived out the remainder of her life in the Netherlands, which is now the headquarters of the Association Montessori Internationale.
"Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed."
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher...is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist"
"One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child."
"We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being."
"The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything."
"The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing understanding between people."
"Joy feeling one's own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul."