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Maria Montessori Essay

1319 words - 5 pages

Maria MontessoriMaria Montessori was an Italian educator who emphasized on early childhood and the rise of feminism. She devised a very popular method of early childhood called the Montessori Method. She worked with children with learning disabilities and also mentally handicapped children. Her method is used all around the world in Montessori schools where teachers are specially trained to teach in these schools. Maria Montessori was born in Chiaraville, Italy on August 31, 1870. Like I said before she was a feminist and she had a drive to penetrate all male professions. This was evident when, at the age of sixteen, she enrolled in the previously masculine Michelangelo Buonarroti Technical School, with the intention of becoming an engineer. She redirected her focus from engineering to medicine. This was more evidence of her determination to succeed in a male oriented world. The Board of Education in Rome said that she couldn't enroll in the University of Rome as a student in medicine. Her determination and will were so strong that on July 10, 1896 Maria Montessori was awarded a doctor's diploma in medicine and surgery by the Royal University of Rome. As an assistant doctor at the University Psychiatric Clinic, she became interested in children with nervous and mental disease and "deficient" children. Back then these children were put in insane asylums. Her curiosity to find appropriate methods for helping these children led her to Bourneville Institute in Paris. There she studied the works of Edouard Seguin and Jean Itard. They were both French physician-educators who worked with handicapped children. "Today these two are considered two of the foremost pioneers in Special Education." "Montessori saw mental deficiency as an educational rather than a medical problem." In 1898, she was appointed director of the Orthophrenic Institute in Rome, which was created to prepare special teachers to aid in the education of the mentally handicapped. She taught there for two years while supervising the other teachers. Some of her pupils from the Orthophrenic Schools who had been classified as retarded were able to pass the state examinations in reading and writing for normal children. Maria Montessori thought her methods would work with normal children also. She once said, "…, I became convinced that similar methods applied to normal children would develop or set free their personality in a marvelous and surprising way." This idea led her to enroll at the University of Rome as a student of philosophy. "Her work with deficient children, her study of the educational works of Itard and Seguin, and her study of "normal pedagogy" fostered the belief that led her methods would be applicable to the education of normal children." This was the belief that led her to create the Montessori Method. The definition of the Montessori Method is "an educational approach, including defined principles and practices, named for the...

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