Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: February 22, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412957403 | Print ISBN: 9781412956642 | Online ISBN: 9781412957403| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Montessori, Maria (1870–1952)
Christine Ann Christle
Maria Montessori was a physician, professor, school administrator, educator, philosopher, advocate for women's rights and a champion for children, especially those with physical and intellectual disabilities. She is best known for developing what is known as the Montessori method of education, which emphasizes self-directed activities and self-correcting materials for children in a sensory-rich environment. Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy, on August 31, 1870, the only child of Alessandro Montessori and Renilde Stoppani. Her father was a government accountant and was transferred to Rome, where Maria attended public elementary school. At the time, the schools were described as dirty, crowded, and dreary, and the education system antiquated and in dire need of reform. Montessori eventually initiated reforms in education based on the premise that all children can learn and become self-motivated, lifelong learners. She advocated for children's rights and helped reform the educational environment from ...