Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She was a math prodigy, a physicist, an anthropologist. At 24 she was the first woman to graduate from the medical school in Rome. She was a pragmatist and a visionary and a humanitarian; a friend of Gandhi’s and Thomas Edison’s; a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Her face is on Italy’s 1000 lire bill. Today, we know Maria Montessori best for the educational method that bears her name.
Her approach to education was developed based on her observations in conjunction with her background in psychology and her belief that the education of children was the means to create a better society. She observed children around the world and found that the laws of development she had recognized in Italy were universal and inherent in children of all races and cultures. The Montessori approach to education continues to be respected and practiced internationally today.