The Origins of Montessori Education
The child of a progressive and ambitious family, Maria chose to study engineering and mathematics at a time when higher education for girls was considered unnecessary. Even more remarkably, she went on to qualify as her country’s first female doctor. It is therefore hardly surprising that from such a remarkable woman came a remarkable philosophy. Her early work aiding the development of children with disabilities showed her, that with a special kind of help and encouragement, they were capable of learning far more than had been considered possible. Dr Montessori began to develop special learning materials to help these children to follow a normal academic program and to enter the state school system.
The results of these experiments were so impressive that she expanded the scale of her work. She aimed to show that if her special children, working with carefully structured materials, could achieve a standard approaching National Average, then other children, also working with the same materials could reach an even higher standard.