Maria Montessori was the first female doctor in Italy in 1896. She opened her first casa dei Bambini (children’s house) in Rome on the 6th January 1907. This gave Maria the opportunity to develop her teaching method and put it into practice.
Now Montessori Education has spread worldwide. Today there are over 700 Montessori schools in the UK.
Maria Montessori showed us how important it is to provide a secure, ordered, creative and happy environment for the child to develop at their own pace, so to allow the children to grow naturally, to retain their individuality and develop their own personality.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment” Maria Montessori
Maria felt education was to provide environments in which they could be set free to follow their natural impulse to become the wonderfully dynamic, natural learners they were designed to be.
She believed by ensuring that the classroom is ordered, everything has it’s place and the environment is designed to be accessible as possible for children to work in, they can then be given the maximum freedom to move and develop.
Order in the environment also makes the children feel safe and that they know how things should be.
“Free choice is one of the highest of all the mental processes” Maria Montessori
She saw that children built on their physical experiences of their world through their senses and that by carefully designing interesting materials, which the children were drawn to, she could help them to widen their understanding. She believed children loved to work with beautiful objects so all of the material are prepared with the greatest of care. These are the Montessori Materials we use today.
“The hands are the instruments of a man’s intelligence” Maria Montessori