Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle (Ancona) on 31 August 1870 by an average family. He spent his childhood and youth in Rome where he decided to undertake scientific studies to become an engineer, a career which at that time was definitely off limits to women. Her parents would have willed homemaker, like most women of her generation.
Thanks to his obstinacy and the burning desire to study, Mary manages to bend the dullness of the family, tearing the consent for entry to the Faculty of medicine where he graduated in 1896 with a degree in psychiatry.
To be well aware of what effort had cost her this kind of choice and what sacrifices he had to undertake, suffice it to say that, in 1896, became the first doctor in Italy. From here also understands itself as professional circles in General, especially those related to medicine, were dominated by men, many of whom, surprised and bewildered by the arrival of this new “creation”, made fun of her even to threaten her. An attitude that unfortunately had serious consequences for the spirit is strong yet sensitive of Montessori, who took to loathe men or at least exclude them from her life so much that will never come to get married.
The first steps of his extraordinary career, that will become a real symbol and an icon of philanthropy, see her struggling with disabled children, which we lovingly and which will remain attached for the rest of his life, dedicating all their professional endeavors.
Around 1900 began a research project at the mental hospital of Santa Maria della Pietà Roman where, among adults mentally ill were children with behavioral disorders or who are locked up and treated as equals of other mentally ill adults and serious emotional abandonment.
The great doctor, in addition to the profusion of love and human attention he lavishes these poor creatures, they soon realize, thanks to her acumen and cited sensitivity, that the teaching method used with this type of “patients” is incorrect, it is not so suited to their physical and mental capabilities and needs.
After numerous attempts, years of observations and field trials, the Montessori brings us to develop a new and innovative method of teaching for children with disabilities. One of the basic concepts of this method (which has still rooted within the evolution of the first plane), is centered on the fact that children have different growth phases within which are more or less likely to learn a few things for neglecting the others. From here you will find a consequential differentiation of the curriculum and learning, “calibrated” about the real possibilities of the child. It is a process that today may seem obvious, but it required an evolution of pedagogical approaches and a careful reflection, within this thought, about what is or is not a child, and what characteristics such a creature, in fact, has.
The result of this effort is Dr. port to develop a cognitive teaching method totally different from any other in use at the time. Instead of the traditional methods that included reading and recitation from memory, educates children through the use of specific instruments, which gives much better results. Is revolutionized by this extraordinary teacher the very meaning of the word “store”, a word that not more related to a rational process of assimilation and/or purely cerebral, but conveyed through the empirical use of senses, implying obviously touching and manipulating objects.
The results are so surprising that even in a controlled trial from experts and from the same Montessori, disabled children receive a higher score than those considered normal. But if the vast majority of people would be deemed to have been met by such an outcome, this is not true of Maria Montessori and vice versa has a new, propulsive idea (from which we can evaluate his exceptional human depth). The initial question that arises is: “Because normal children cannot benefit from the same approach?”. That done, open a “children’s House” in the suburbs of Rome, one of his first hits.
Here’s what he writes, by the way, a document drawn up by the same Montessori Institute: “according to Maria Montessori, the question of children with severe deficiency you had to solve educational processes and not with medical treatments. For the Montessori teaching methods were irrational because the potential of substantially raising baby instead of helping them and make them emerge and develop.
So here is the education of the senses as a time of preparation for the development of intelligence, because the child’s education, similarly to that of the handicapped or deficit, must rely on sensitivity since the psyche of each other is all sensitivity.
Montessori material educates the child at the child’s own error correction and error control without the teacher (or leader) should intervene to correct.
The child is free in the choice of material takes practice so everything must arise from spontaneous interest of the child. So that education becomes a process of self-education and self-control. ”
Maria Montessori was also an author and has exposed its methods and its principles in numerous books. In particular, in 1909 publishes “the method of scientific pedagogy” which, translated into many languages, will give the Montessori world resonate.
He lived in various parts of Europe before returning to Italy, after the fall of fascism and the end of World War II.
He died on May 6, 1952 in Noordwijk, in the Netherlands, near the North Sea. His work lives on through the hundreds of schools set up in his name in the most diverse parts of the globe. The epitaph on his tombstone reads: “I pray dear children, who can all, to join me for peace-building in men and in the world”.
In the years ‘ 90, her face was depicted on banknotes Thousand Italian, replacing that of Marco Polo, and pending the entry into force of the single European currency.