Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities. – Dr. Maria Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was an Italian physician, anthropologist and pedagogue who designed a method of education by observing young children and how they learn. Her extensive early childhood research, which is supported by modern research, revealed that children experience sensitive periods for learning during their early years. They easily learn particular skills during the corresponding sensitive periods, more so than at any other time in the child’s life. Dr. Montessori’s method encourages the natural development of the whole child from birth through maturity. Out of this research-based foundation, the Montessori “Method of Education” emerged. The Montessori Method pursues the fact that the mind of a child is absorbent, and thus the environment should be prepared carefully to train the senses, to stimulate curiosity and to satisfy the need to know. Montessori’s philosophy and psychological principles upon which she devised a carefully graded series of self-teaching devices are today accepted as a positive alternative to traditional education.