top of page

Maria Montessori
(1870 - 1952)

An outstanding woman 

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was definitely an avant-guardist woman, she was one of the first woman to become a doctor in Italy, and was also a scientist, teacher, graduated in philosophy, psychology, anthropology and natural sciences, while being an activist and intellectual woman. 


Maria Montessori dedicated her whole life to study how to improve humans potential on Earth, through analyzing natural development, both physical and mental, of the child from his birth. 


To reach this goal, Maria Montessori had to fight pre-conceived ideas about women at her time, standing for global acknowledgement of children rights.

Since the very begining of her career, she finds out the pain of deaf children, locked in hospitals. Interested in works of Itard and Seguin, she decided to educate these disabled children. 


In 1907, she's given the responsibility of managing an institution in San Lorenzo, in Roma suburbs. She welcomed poor children, left behind the industrial revolution from the begining of the century. Slowly, she implemented what is called "scientific pedagogy".


Her accurate sense of observation, her respect towards children, her trust and intuition towards the mysteries of nature allowed her to establish the fundamentals of what became later the Montessori pedagogy. The results she got with the children from San Lorenzo were once again outstanding. 

More and more schools open 

Several schools opened across Italy within a year, in which Maria Montessori trained the teachers. She held international courses that gathered teachers from almost 40 different nationalities.

Maria Montessori trained 5000 educators on her own.

Institutions opened all around the world, thus leading her to travel a lot to flee from wars and dictatorships. She's been living in Italy, the United States, Spain, India and the Netherlands. 

Conveying the pedagogy

In the 1920s, she participated in the exchanges led by the International League for New Education, in particular through congresses during which she introduced her research and studies and met other great pedagogues from this movement.

She founded the Association Montessori International (AMI) in 1929, to preserve, spread and promote the established pedagogical principles and practice in order to favour human development with harmony.

She's been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Price for her book Education and Peace, and she was one of the founders of the UNESCO. 

Her son Mario stayed with her most of her life. As the dedicated collaborator he was, he's been the one finishing the 6-12 period program started by Maria, and established the fundamentals of an in-depth training. He kept working on his mother's projects until his death, in 1982. 

One of the main aspects of today's research work is the collaboration with neurotherapists/ neuropsychiatrists, checking through the current medical knowledge the experimental results obtained over the past century. Later on, it's been confirming the discoveries of Maria Montessori about the child's development main principles.

Maria Montessori developed a scientific pedagogy, not considering education just as a knowledge sharing, but as a real help to the child's psychological development. 

Throughout her life, Maria Montessori wrote many books, gathering all her knowledge and discoveries on children development. 

A global recognition 

Throughout her life, Maria Montessori has been travelling to spread her vision and philosophy on education. 


She's been awarded by many institutions worldwide:

  • Nominated 3 times for the Nobel Peace Price 

  • French Légion d’Honneur 

  • Orange Order Officer (Netherlands)

  • Italian representative at UNESCO

Maria Montessori left us a marvellous heritage: a life philosophy, a unique pedagogical approach, self-learning materials, as well as the educators training method. This heritage is meant to train adults' awareness to the children needs and global developement. Eventually, acquiring this knowledge provides strong foundations for life.

Deeply humanist, Maria Montessori wanted children to thrive and to become the creators of a better world. To her, the child doesn't just deserve interest, he is the future of society. 

Her message is even more relevant in the frame of a constantly changing world. 

" Let's not raise our children for today's world. This world will not exist when they grow up; and nothing allows us to know which world will be theirs: so let them learn to adapt."

Today, there are over 30 000 Montessori schools in over 50 countries, on the 6 continents 

bottom of page