Maria Montessori and AMI
“The child is endowed with unknown powers, which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.”
—The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She was a math prodigy, a physicist and 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.
Dr. Montessori began her work through observing children of all abilities. These observations led to discoveries of the children’s innate competencies and planes of development. Her approach to education was based in her solid grounding in biology, psychiatry, and anthropology.
She studied children of all races and of many cultures around the world. Discovering the universal connection to human nature and using her observations to create the Montessori Methods she continued her research until her death in 1952. Mario Montessori, her son, continued the development of Montessori elementary and secondary education until his own death in 1982.
The development of Montessori education, based on the understanding of the abilities and the dignity of the individual child, continues today through a worldwide group dedicated to furthering this educational philosophy, Association Montessori International. A.M.I. is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and it is through this agency that each of our teachers is certified.
“Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, where study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants—doing nothing but living and walking about—came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning; would you not think I was romancing? Well, just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child’s way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so he passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.”
—Dr. Maria Montessori, MD