"Italy’s first female doctor and founder of the Montessori Method of Education, Maria Montessori was also a remarkable and courageous individual who recognised the potential of children in changing the nature of society provided they were nurtured and allowed to develop freely.
Thrice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, Maria Montessori was noted for her body of work as an educational reformist, advocator of women’s rights, humanitarian, professor of pedagogy, scientist, psychologist and anthropologist.
Maria Montessori’s ideas for the Montessori Method first began to take fruition during her time working with children as a doctor in Rome’s University Psychiatric clinic where she identified the importance of early years in the development of child. Not long after in 1907, by then recognised as a talented scientist and academic, Maria Montessori was asked to singlehandedly run a project educating 50 underprivileged children from the slums outside Rome. The work Maria Montessori did with these children in the first ‘Children’s House’ and the outstanding results she made through her process of scientifically observing, nurturing, and designing educational materials has paved the way for the success of the Montessori Method as it is known today and started what is now widely known as the ‘Montessori Movement."
Dr. Maria Montessori began the Montessori Method as a means to achieve peace and the origins are firmly rooted in this social movement of peace education. Her objectives were to place children at the centre of society to allow for children to reach their full potential, and have the opportunity to become harmonious human beings who would place peace at the centre of their world.
"The child is the forgotten citizen, and yet, if statesmen and educationists once came to realize the terrific force that is in childhood for good or for evil, I feel they would themselves give it priority above everything else. All problems of humanity depend on man himself; if man is disregarded in his construction, the problems will never be solved."