Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She was the first woman in Italy to attend medical school and later completed education, philosophy and anthropology degrees. She believed that no human being is educated by another person – “She must do it herself or it will never be done. The goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a structured course of studies, but rather to cultivate her own natural desire to learn.”
Dr. Montessori developed what she called THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT, which already possesses a certain order and allows children to learn at their own speed, according to their own capacities and in a non-competitive atmosphere. The years between three and six are the years in which children learn the rules of human behaviour most easily. These are also the years that the child is in their SENSITIVE PERIOD for language and math skills. In this environment, the child is free to develop at a rate that is comfortable. Montessori teaches children to observe, to think, to judge. It introduces children to the joy of learning at an early age and provides a framework in which intellectual and social discipline go hand-in-hand.
Dr. Montessori received world acclaim for her work to aid the education and development of children. The Montessori philosophy of education is highly regarded and widely recognised throughout the world.