There is nothing “new age” about Montessori education. In fact, Montessori Schools across the globe are using the same principles that Dr. Maria Montessori discovered and developed herself more than 110 years ago. Understanding the history of Montessori education explains why so little has changed in Montessori classrooms since the first school, “Casa Dei Bambini,” opened in 1907.
Dr. Montessori was raised in a family that valued education. As a young woman, she aspired to be an engineer and devoted much of her time to her studies, which was uncommon for Italian women in the late 1800s. As she grew older, Dr. Montessori changed paths, deciding that she wanted to become a physician. This was not an easy path. Dr. Montessori was initially rejected from school and had to take additional courses to prove her intelligence and commitment to the field. Once she was accepted, she excelled as a student and become one of the first female doctors in all of Italy.
Her area of specialty was psychiatry, and the love of learning that was instilled in her by her parents lead her to study the way that children learn and interact in the classroom. In 1900 she became co-director of an educational training institute for teachers of students with disabilities. In her work with these teachers, Dr. Montessori observed and tried different methods of teaching, noting which methods were successful and led to educational gains.
Dr. Montessori discovered, using science as a guide, that children learn best when their education mimics the natural way that children discover the world. So, she worked tirelessly to prove and demonstrate that this model is successful, and she did so in classrooms around the world.
This is why Montessori education has not changed in 110 years – the way that children grow and develop biologically hasn’t changed. Dr. Montessori recognized that education should mimic each child’s natural inclinations, curiosity and growth, and she created a model to do exactly that.
Are you curious about Montessori education and want to know more? Schedule a time to tour Maria Montessori School. MMS is one of the only AMI accredited Montessori schools in the Mid-South, and we’d love to share our school with your family.