Born in 1870, she was an Italian physician and educator and was the first woman to receive a medical degree in Italy. She developed her method of education early in this century for children from 2 years of age through high school. At the time of her death in 1952 she was working on a college curriculum.
It is an approach to education which takes into consideration the entire potential of a child – socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Unique didactic teaching tools are used under the guidance of trained Montessori teachers. It’s a highly individualized system of education utilizing sensory training.
These are periods of unusual sensitivity to learning that every child passes through on his or her way to adulthood. Dr. Montessori noted these periods of intense interest in learning specific skills and referred to them as periods of specific maturation aptness. She observed that the sensitive period for reading and writing occurs between 3 and 5 years of age.
The Montessori discipline is an “inner discipline.” The child develops control over his own behavior through his work with the Montessori materials. Dr. Montessori noted that so many so-called “discipline problems” occur when children were really frustrated by lack of proper, constructive, and intellectual stimulation. When a child’s intellectual and creative energies are utilized in a constructive manner there is no energy left over for deviate behavior.
For more than half a century, we have observed that the achievement of Montessori children in the public school system and have found them to be highly adaptable, enthusiastic about school, and independent in their study habits. They are often accelerated.