Why Montessori ?
The free choice of activity, the freedom to communicate and move in an orderly, stimulating, calm and serene atmosphere.
Respect for everyone's rhythm. Rapid children evolve quickly, slow ones move slowly; together in the same space.
Discipline must come from within: correction by the other makes it passive, self-correction keeps it active and stimulates its activity.
1870 - 1952
Pedagogue doctor, born of a bourgeois family in Italy.
In 1884, she joined a technical school for boys, discovered biology and decided to become a doctor. In 1892, she easily integrates (usually reserved for men) the Faculty of Medicine and became in 1897 the first woman doctor of his country.
The birth of an educational method: during 2 years, she worked in a psychiatric clinic with mentally disabled children before devoting herself fully to the pedagogy of children. She takes part in pedagogy conferences in Turin and then in Rome. Thereafter, she will undertake additional studies in psychology and philosophy.
In 1907, "The House of Children" (Casa dei Bambini) was created in a popular area in Italy. Children are offered a "small house" in a "big house" to live the day. Parents have free access to school. In return, they must ensure the cleanliness and good behavior (dress) of children. She has furniture made to the size of children, which is totally revolutionary at the time. She and her assistant take care of the 50 children by offering them the material she had previously used with children with disabilities. The Casa dei Bambini becomes a research base, an experimental laboratory where Maria Montessori builds and approves her method. His observations: the capacities of concentration and self-discipline are extraordinary, the children need order and the most beautiful: the blossoming of the children is transmitted to their entourage.
In 1909, Maria created a class of educators for children from 3 to 6 years old, and another one for children from 6 to 12 years old. These courses became international from 1913. Many associations and charitable organizations asked him to create children's homes. She travels extensively to lecture and organize teacher training courses. The world war of 1914 interrupts this dazzling development of schools. She creates the AMI (Association Montessori Internationale) to preserve and promote her method.
In 1934, she exiled herself after the turnaround of Mussolini which makes close all the Montessori schools which he admired nevertheless the method. She arrives in Spain and leaves for Holland following the arrival of Franco in power. During the second world war, she moved to India where she created many schools and meets Tagore, Nehru and Gandhi, then become friends.
After the war, she returned to Italy and took up the training of educators and re-opened the schools. She writes new books including "Education for Peace" which is nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1949, she was awarded the Legion of Honor in France and was acclaimed by UNESCO. She died on May 6, 1952 at the age of 82, in Holland.
Today in the world, there are 30,000 Montessori schools, including 150 in France ... 18 training centers for educators, including only 1 in France!