Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maria Montessori (1870-1952)

Maria Montessori was the first woman to get a medical degree in Italy. However she wanted to persue a technical career in Engineering. Maria took courses on Anthropology, philosophy and psychology. She was heavily influenced by Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Froebel and Giuseppe Sergi. She created “La casa de Bambini".

Each individual is unique and the objective of education is to develop the individual’s unique potential. She believed that you have to “Control the environment, not the child”

There are 3 main Montessori principles:
1) Observation
2) Individual Liberty
3) Preparation of the environment.

Her theory was based on individualized learning, readiness program manipulative learning, ungraded classes, team teaching and open classrooms. She changed the focus on the teacher and turn it to the child through observation.

Montessori believed that it was through individual free choice that the child perfects itself. She also believe that children should have practical life experiences and was the first educator to create furniture design for the child size. She was an advocate to freedom from its role of dependency from adults. “What he is able to do he must do by himself”.

Source: “The Essential Montessori: The woman, the writings and the method” by Elizabeth G Hainstock

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