What is Montessori?

Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the first Italian woman physician, brought her scientific training to pedagogy and understanding of the child. Astounded by what she observed and discovered about children, she spent the rest of her life designing a method of education which in her own words, would be an aid to life. One hundred years have now elapsed since she formulated her evolutionary theory, which could be summarized by the following tenets:

  • Profound trust in the child
  • Deep respect for all forms of life
  • A child placed in a positive environment and geared to the fulfillment of his individual needs will thrive and develop to his full potential
  • The child passes through sensitive periods of learning

“The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned.”
– The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 201