Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and educator who developed the approach of education that carries her name. She opened the first Montessori school over a century ago in Rome, and today there are several schools all over the world which follow her way of teaching. As an educator Montessori felt that the education system for children during her time was too rigid. She believed that children would thrive and learn better in an environment where they were educated according to their psychological and intellectual capabilities and allowed a degree of independence. The foundation for Maria’s future career had been laid when as a child she was encouraged to study and observe the world around her. Her mother was well educated for her times and she motivated her daughter to do well in life.
She is most famous for developing the Montessori system of education in which each child is treated as an individual in his own right. Children are encouraged to learn at their natural speed in a child friendly environment which whets their curiosity to learn. Today this approach to education is very popular all over the world.
She received the French Legion of Honor and was made an Officer of the Dutch Order of Orange Nassau in recognition of her invaluable works in the field of education.
She was nominated thrice for the Nobel Peace Prize.