Montessori Education Week, Feb 23-29
Stay tuned next week as we feature our most popular videos from our Parent Education video series! You can always access our Video Gallery on the website to see all of our videos.
We hope you will join us in celebrating Dr. Montessori's legacy!
The American Montessori Society website has a wonderful biography of Maria Montessori and her accomplishments. Here are some highlights:
In 1906, Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, physician, and scientist, who had just judged an international competition on the subjects of scientific pedagogy and experimental psychology, was invited to create a childcare center in San Lorenzo, a poor, inner-city district of Rome. There, she would be working with some of the area’s most disadvantaged, and previously unschooled, children.
She opened the doors on January 6, 1907, calling the center the Casa dei Bambini—Italian for “Children’s House.” Dr. Montessori was determined to make the Casa a quality educational environment for these youngsters, whom many had thought were unable to learn—and she did.
The success of Dr. Montessori’s schools sparked interest around the world. Dignitaries traveled to Rome from countries far and wide to witness, firsthand, the “miracle children” who exhibited concentration, attention, and spontaneous self-discipline.
The innovative Montessori Method also began to attract the attention of prominent educators eager to learn it. Some were taught by Dr. Montessori herself. Her courses drew students from as far as Chile and Australia, and within a few years there were Montessori schools on 5 continents.
In 1909, Dr. Montessori published her first book, Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica applicato all’educazione infantile nelle Case dei Bambini. Within 3 years it had been translated into 10 languages. Its first 5,000 copies in English, succinctly titled The Montessori Method, sold out in 4 days.
In 1913, Maria Montessori traveled to the U.S. on a 3-week lecture tour, where she was met with crowds of curious and interested supporters. A reception was arranged for her in Washington, DC. Four hundred people attended, including Margaret Wilson, the daughter of President Woodrow Wilson, and many foreign ministers and dignitaries.
From its humble beginnings more than 100 years ago as a single schoolroom for a group of underprivileged children in Rome, Italy, Montessori education has taken a firm foothold on the education landscape. In the U.S. alone, approximately 5,000 Montessori schools now serve over one million children, from infancy through adolescence. Thousands more Montessori schools exist worldwide.