After qualifying as the first female doctor in Italy, Dr Maria Montessori( 1870-1952) began work as a psychiatric doctor. She developed the Montessori philosophy through close work with and observation of disable and disadvantage children. Dr Montessori was ask to open infant schools in areas of disadvantage in Rome for children aged 3-7 years. These she called Casa Dei Bambini, The Children’s House.
Through providing her hand crafted materials and exercises she stimulated each child’s interests. All the children made incredible progress and development in all areas of their learning. Dr Montessori was the first educator to realize the importance of a child-friendly environment, she developed the child sized furniture we now take for granted.
Dr Montessori began lecture in Europe, Asia and the Americas, after which teacher training colleges began to open. Her belief and enthusiasm that children are capable of achieving spontaneous and independent learning and the recognition she gave to holistic education led to her being nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She is therefore recognized as one of the most influential educators of our time.