Montessori education

A Montessori school is a school that practices the pedagogy of Maria Montessori. For over 100 years, the Montessori method has successfully contributed to the education of children all over the world and the method is still being used daily: her legacy can be found in thousands of Montessori schools in more than 148 countries across the globe. 


Founder Maria Montessori

When Maria Montessori founded the first "Children's Home" in 1907 in San Lorenzo in Rome, she was already known in Italy for having been one of the first women to graduate in medicine in Italy, for her feminist struggles (her intervention caused great uproar in Europe at the Women's Congress in Berlin: 1896, the same year she graduated) and for her social and scientific commitment in favor of handicapped children. The method of scientific pedagogy, a volume written and published in Città di Castello (Perugia) during the first specialization course (1909), was translated and welcomed throughout the world with great enthusiasm: for the first time a different and positive image was presented of the child, the most suitable method for his spontaneous development was indicated and his rich availability for cultural learning was demonstrated, the possible results of which had never before been imagined and verified. Another phenomenon that interested public opinion around the world was that of being able to observe a group of children dedicated to work freely chosen by each of them in an atmosphere of calm collaboration. This unsuspected success brought about a profound change in the life of Maria Montessori who began her scientific pilgrimage to every part of the world, where her schools were born and developed and where the need for a new preparation of teachers was equally great. Starting from 1913, the year of the 1st International Course held in Rome, Maria Montessori repeatedly visited the United States, Spain, Holland and many other countries before arriving in India where she remained for many years also due to the Second World War. She returned to Italy in 1947, after having left it in 1934, forced together with her son Mario to resign from the Opera Nazionale Montessori which she had founded in 1924. This occurred due to the attempt of the fascist regime to orient the Opera and the thought of the its Author in a direction incompatible with the ideal and educational principles of Maria Montessori, whose image and whose books were burned first in Berlin and then in Vienna during the years of Nazi rule.

For over 40 years Maria Montessori will be present not only in the diffusion of the method, but also in scientific research with a view to the liberation of childhood ("the true social question of our time") and the defense of the child, the being up until today forgotten and replaced by the adult. After The Method, now known as The Discovery of the Child, other works see the light: Pedagogical Anthropology, Self-education in elementary schools, The Child in the Family, Psychoarithmetic and Psychogeometry, all translated abroad where the method is meanwhile spreading rapidly. ever wider. AMI, the International Montessori Association, was founded in 1929, born out of a need for unity and identity of the Montessori movement. But new interests opened up to the creative mind of Maria Montessori, who in her decades of observations discovered and valorised the "new characters" of the child and his irreplaceable function in the conservation and perfection of humanity ("the child, father of man"). At the same time, new works accompany Montessori's work: among others The secret of childhood, From childhood to adolescence, How to educate human potential, The mind of the child. Two new intellectual and scientific conquests are the result of this incessant exploration: peace and cosmic education, two visions that bring education and pedagogy to a level of interpretation of human formation never dared in the past.

Admired throughout the world and by the greatest exponents of our century (Ghandi, Freud, Tagore, Marconi, Piaget, Edison, Herriot, Masaryk, Adenauer, etc...), Maria Montessori died in Noordwijk (Holland) 82 years after her birth on 1870 in Chiaravalle di Ancona.