The Montessori philosophy begins with a deep respect for children as unique individuals. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, one of the first women doctors in Italy. In working with children in the slums of Rome, she discovered that even very young children were eager to learn and ready to absorb knowledge. This natural potential for self-development is encouraged when children are given an opportunity to choose for themselves what they want to learn from a rich and diverse environment, and when they are given the freedom to proceed at their own pace.
Child psychologists and educators have proven again and again the validity of Dr. Montessori’s approach to child development and learning. She left us a legacy of hands-on learning materials that foster scientific and mathematical aptitudes, nurture an appreciation of history and support the creativity of every child. In the 100+ years since the first Montessori Casa dei Bambini, thousands of public and private Montessori schools have blossomed all over the world. In addition, many elements of Montessori pedagogy, from child-sized furniture to base 10 math materials, have been incorporated into public and private school programs.