Introduction - Woman behind the Theory
Life, Education, and Career of Montessori
The only child of Alsessandro Montessori and Renilde Stoppani, Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy (Gutek, 2004). During the time Montessori was born, Italy was going through major changes. Italy had just completed unification in which they became modernized as a force of nationalism and liberalism (Gutek, 2004). Yet Italy still had remnants of conservatism and traditionalism. Social and gender roles were eventually inherited across time and generations (Gutek, 2004). However, women's roles were more fixed by custom and tradition (Gutek, 2004). Higher and professional education was not usually accessible to women. Yet that didn't stop Montessori from pursuing her dreams. In challenging Italy's 19th century gender conservations, Montessori would enter a technical school to study engineering and later (at the University of Rome's medical school) to become Italy's first degreed female physician (Gutek, 2004).
Montessori defeated all adversities throughout her years in school. From the time she was a young pupil till she graduated from college, Montessori exemplified strong determination and dedication. Both of Montessori's parents supported her in her studies, though her father was particularly strong in her pursuing mathematics. Yet Montessori wanted to establish independence and did so by entering a technical secondary school. At the age of 13-years-old, Montessori enrolled in the Regia Scuola Technica Michelangelo Buonarroti and pursued a 7-year curriculum (Gutek, 2004). Montessori graduated from the school with high honors in 1886. She continued her academic career by entering the Regio Instituto Technico Leonardo da Vinci from 1886-1890 in which she further studied engineering (Gutek, 2004).
Montessori was a versatile student who wanted to accomplish all her interests. In 1890, she decided to change careers and study medicine. Montessori did so by applying to University of Rome's School of Medicine (Gutek, 2004). Though she was initially rejected by the all-male faculty, Montessori's persistence granted her entry into the university in the fall of 1890, passing examination for the program in 1892. Montessori added interest to children by studying pediatrics at the Children's Pediatric Hospital which opened the door for her to become an adjunct/doctor at the women's hospital of San Salvator al Laterano and at the Ospedale Santo Spirito for men in Sassia (Gutek, 2004). During her time at the University of Rome, Montessori found herself at the pit of discrimination against women. She experienced shunning and isolation by her peers in which she would later find herself fighting for women's rights as she became a member of the Italian delegation of the International Women's Congress in 1896 (Gutek, 2004). This paved the way for many women and others to follow to achieve their hearts desires.
Montessori's educational background and...