Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori
Italian physician and educator.
Maria Montessori was, in many ways, ahead of her time. Born in the town of Chiaravalle, in the province of Ancona, Italy, in 1870, she became the first female physician in Italy upon her graduation from medical school in 1896. Shortly afterwards, she was chosen to represent Italy at two different women's conferences, in Berlin in 1896 and in London in 1900.
In her medical practice, her clinical observations led her to analyze how children learn, and she concluded that they build themselves from what they find in their environment. Shifting her focus from the body to the mind, she returned to the university in 1901, this time to study psychology and philosophy. In 1904, she was made a professor of anthropology at the University of Rome.
Children teach themselves. This simple but profound truth inspired Montessori’s lifelong pursuit of educational reform, methodology, psychology, teaching, and teacher training–all based on her dedication to furthering the self-creating process of the child.
The teachers at the Kids Tree Preschool have always been a consistent source of education, expertise, love and encouragement. Several teachers have been teaching here for 26-32 years and have formed lifelong friendships. This tradition was established by our third director, Christopher Smith. Today, all teachers in our team are highly educated in early childhood education and continue to gain information in this field. We are a close-knit family committed and dedicated to providing the best possible preschool program! It is our life's work!
Maria Montessori made her first visit to the United States in 1913, the same year that Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel founded the Montessori Educational Association at their Washington, DC, home. Among her other strong American supporters were Thomas Edison and Helen Keller.
In 1915, she attracted world attention with her "glass house" schoolroom exhibit at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. On this second U.S. visit, she also conducted a teacher training course and addressed the annual conventions of both the National Education Association and the International Kindergarten Union. The committee that brought her to San Francisco included Margaret Wilson, daughter of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.
She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times–in 1949, 1950, and 1951.