Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born in Ancona, Italy in 1870. Her father was a factory manager and her mother, who prized education, instilled a love of learning in the young Maria. At the age of 13, Maria began challenging the conventional education system when she entered an all-boys school to prepare for a career in engineering. Ultimately, she found medicine and graduated as one of Italy’s first female doctors in 1896. Finding work as a female physician was difficult and she accepted a position working with children in an institute for special education. Dr. Montessori was a scientist and approached her work by experimentation and careful observation. Her thoughtful responses provoked unexpectedly positive results with this challenging group of students. Her success led others to wonder what might be accomplished if her methods were used with typically-developing children and soon Montessori education spread throughout Italy, Europe, and the world.