Who was Maria Montessori?



Maria Montessori was born in the small town of Chiaravalle, Italy in 1870. At a time when education for girls was not valued, Maria’s mother supported the idea of Maria attending college. Maria later attended medical school and became one of the first medical doctors in Italy.


The birth of her son, Mario, changed her life, as did her experience as a doctor for young children. She dedicated her life to creating an educational philosophy that would nurture the lives of children and provide them with a system of education designed for their developmental needs and interests. She established schools throughout Europe, America and India. Along the way she became an entrepreneur, teaching and manufacturing the beautiful materials that she designed for her classrooms. When she died in Holland in 1952 at the age of 82, she had lived through two World Wars and had witnessed the destruction of the lives of families and children. She was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in education to bring about world peace.


Today, educators recognize both her genius and her dedication to the field of education. Her insights and understanding of children, their needs and their minds, have changed the course of children’s education around the world for the past 100 years.


Montessori Reading List: Works by or About Dr. Maria Montessori

The Montessori Method - Maria Montessori

From Childhood to Adolescence - Maria Montessori

Montessori - A Modern Approach - Paula Polk Lillard

Montessori – A Comprehensive Approach to Education from Birth to Adulthood - Paula Polk Lillard

The Absorbent Mind - Maria Montessori

The Discovery of the Child - Maria Montessori

The Secret of Childhood - Maria Montessori

Montessori Today - Paula Polk Lillard

Maria Montessori - A Biography - Rita Kramer

Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work - E.M. Standing

The Secret behind the Genius - Angeline Stoll Lillard