Born in Italy, in 1870, Maria Montessori became the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school. She also studied psychology and philosophy.
In her medical practice, she analyzed how children learn, and concluded that they do this themselves from what they find in their environment. Her desire to help children was so strong, that she founded the first Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House.”
Her continuous scientific observations there led her to develop what is now known as the Montessori method of education. This was based on the children’s almost effortless ability to absorb knowledge from their surroundings, as well as their tireless interest in manipulating materials. Every piece of equipment, every exercise, every method Montessori developed was based on what she observed children do “naturally,” by themselves, unassisted by adults.
“Children teach themselves” – Maria Montessori