Can you imagine a woman breaking all the boundaries and cultural limits of her time during the 19th century? Well, you imagined right if Maria Montessori was the first person to come to mind. #girlboss
Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Anacona, Italy on August 31st, 1870 and is the creator of the Montessori pedagogy. Her worldwide known pedagogy was conceived after years of observation and close work with children and “guides,” as she calls adults in charge of leading children in their school years.
Maria Montessori became the first female doctor in Italy in 1896, she was a pedagogue, an inventor, a mathematician, a peace activist, a real feminist and a nominee for a Nobel Prize in Education as the inventor of the Montessori Educational System back in 1949.
I don’t know if you know, but during medical school, she was forced school to attend classes with her dad because it was considered immoral for her to attend alone alongside her male colleagues. Imagine the limitations she had during her study years and how hard she had to work to get her diploma in a world ruled by men.
Once she finally graduated from medical school, she was assigned to the psychiatric floor of the hospital to work specifically with children. This is where the method began.
Montessori believed that we are all born with potential and that adults should help children develop that potential. This is something she referred to as the “the secret of childhood.” This secret needs to be followed by the adult based on strong principles such as: order, freedom of movement, language, independence, prepared environment, freedom, discipline, social development, observation, music and arts.
Through her life, Montessori wrote several books, developed specific materials for her method, gave numerous talks at international conferences; and became even best buddies with Mathama Ghandi while she lived in India!
Dr. Montessori spread her method not only in Italy where she founded her first “Casa dei Bambini” (House of Children) in January 6, 1907, but also in India, Holland, USA, UK, and many other countries. Today, there are more than 8.000 Montessori Schools around the world.
As I mentioned previously, she wrote several books dedicated to her findings and observations. The most comprehensive book is on her research about the child’s early years titled or called “Absorbent Mind” (1949). A jewel we all must read, as parents, responsible adults and human beings. This book changed the way I looked at children and how I consider and respect them from a totally different perspective, a more mindful one. (Maria Montessori didn’t know back then, but her method has a lot of mindfulness in it, both for children and adults).
After spending her entire life dedicated to the study of children and working with them, with the sole purpose of spreading ways to help the world achieve peace trough the eyes of children; she passed away at the age of 81 on May 6, 1952 in Noordwijk aan Zee in the Netherlands.
The inscription on her tomb reads:
“I beg the dear all powerful children to unite with me for the building of peace in Man and in the World.”
Maria Montessori is an inspiration, a rock where many, many children have learned how to be independent, honest and autonomous from an early age, making the world better every day. She was also a faithful advocate for women and their empowerment around the world, a real feminist.
There is a very important detail to keep in mind here, for her method to be effective; it requires adults to change their mindset in order to follow the child. She used to say that children can develop and flourish all the capacities that exist inside of them without our direct intervention.
So next time someone tells you about how the Montessori Method is “in”, or how innovative and new it is, you can tell them: “ Yeap, very innovative, for over 100 years now!”
Montessori and Top10Mom
Many of my posts at Top10Mom, will be inspired in Dr. Montessori´s principles. Especially, on DIY posts, children observation and how to apply practical life skills to our home environment to “help the children help themselves”.
Because of my admiration to her and her method, I have something to share with you that makes me extremely happy. In September 2017, I will be attending the AMI Classroom Assistants Certificate Children’s House (3-6) in Porto, where I will learn more about how to apply the Montessori method as an aid to children´s life through education. I am really excited about this opportunity and here you can find more info in case you want to also enroll.
Did you already know Maria Montessori´s Method? Do you agree with me that she is a superwoman? Do you apply some Montessori based activities at home? Share them with me below; together we can share tips and ideas about it.
Check this great infographic from Visually with a practical overview if the Montessori Method, enjoy and SHARE if you liked it! #sharingiscaring