History of Montessori

                        Dr. Maria Montessori                                              appeared on the February 3, 1930                cover of Time magazine

The History of Montessori

Montessori Education helps each child reach their full potential, whether that potential is in art, math, science, literature, computers, music, or performance. Our educational model allows each child to pursue his own interests. For example, in addition to the list of Montessori graduates and proponents shown below, it is interesting to note that:

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)

Montessori education has been in existence for over 100 years. Dr. Maria Montessori's first class began in 1907 and consisted of about 50 to 60 children, ages 3 to 6 years old, who lived in the slums of Rome, Italy. She described the ages from three to six years old as being a particularly sensitive time during which young children are especially attuned to acquiring knowledge from and about their environment. The news of the unprecedented success of Dr. Montessori's work in this 'Casa dei Bambini' (Children's House) soon spread around the world, people coming from far and wide to see for themselves the remarkable educational advances of these children. Montessori education soon spread to other countries. Her educational method is in use today in public and private schools throughout the world.

Time Magazine and Nobel Foundation

Maria Montessori was the first female entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Time magazine. She was a physician and educator and appeared on the cover of the February 3, 1930 edition. Maria Montessori was known throughout the world for her philosophy and method of educating children from birth to adolescence. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize and won numerous awards in the field of education during her life.

Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Helen Keller

In 1913, Dr. Montessori was invited to the USA by the renowned Alexander Graham Bell. Among Montessori's supporters were Thomas Edison, Helen Keller, and others who were interested in this new method in education. Alexander Graham Bell and his wife founded the Montessori Educational Association that year, with Alexander Graham Bell as its president.

Founders of Google

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of the Internet search engine Google.com, have stated many times that their years as Montessori students were a major factor behind their success. They say that going to a Montessori school taught them to be self-directed self-starters who could think for themselves. They also state that a Montessori education gave them the freedom to pursue their own interests allowing them to "think outside the box".

Founder of Amazon.com

Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, the most dominant retailer on the Internet, attended a Montessori School. By his mother's account, the young Jeffrey got so engrossed in the details of activities at his Montessori school that teachers had to pick him up in his chair to move him to new tasks.

Julia Child, world renowned American chef, author, and television personality

In her book "Julia Child and Company," Ms. Child says that Montessori learning taught her to love working with her hands. John Long, head of a Montessori school in Houston, wrote about Child's connection to Montessori education and states: “Maria Montessori wanted kids to develop 'a friendly relationship to error,' – to understand that mistakes are a normal part of learning, and that to learn, you must be willing to make mistakes, and then to move forward."

American computer game designer of the best-selling PC game in history

William Wright, an American computer game designer whose greatest success to date is as the original designer for The Sims games series, the best-selling PC game in history. He was educated at a local Montessori school, where he enjoyed its emphasis on creativity, problem solving, and self-motivation. Wright admitted to having been inspired to create certain elements of SimCity from his experiences in the school. "Montessori taught me the joy of discovery...It showed you can become interested in pretty complex theories, like Pythagorean theory, say, by playing with blocks. It’s all about learning on your terms, rather than a teacher explaining stuff to you. SimCity comes right out of Montessori—if you give people this model for building cities, they will abstract from it principles of urban design."

Co-founder of Wikipedia

As a child, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, was an avid reader with an acute intellectual curiosity. This he credits to the influence of the Montessori Method which was the basis of his school's philosophy of education. There were only four other children in Wales' grade, so the school grouped together the first through fourth grade students and the fifth through eighth grade students. During an interview in 2005 with Brian Lamb, he credits the influence of the Montessori Method on the school's philosophy of education, where he "spent lots of hours poring over the Britannica and World Book Encyclopedias".

Nobel Prize winner for Literature

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Nobel Prize winner for Literature who attended Montessori de Aracataca, Columbia, for 5 years and credited his time there with making him fall in love with language. He said that Montessori Education gave him the desire to "kiss literature" and "the taste instilled to him to go to the school, not only to see literature but to write it."  Many Montessori websites quote the Nobel prize winner as saying, “I do not believe there is a method better than Montessori for making children sensitive to the beauties of the world and awakening their curiosity regarding the secrets of life.”

Dr. Jagdish Gandhi

In India, Dr. Jagdish Gandhi, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and others, established City Montessori School in 1959.  City Montessori School has become the largest Montessori school in the world with over 47,000 students. City Montessori School has won numerous awards, including being the winner of the 2002 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. The school is noted for its “meaningful, value-based and quality education to children… Over the last 53 years, hundreds of thousands of students have passed out from of the portals of CMS, reinforced with virtues and values of World Unity and World Peace, and equipped with a global perspective and international vision to successfully face the challenges of tomorrow.”

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