When I was at school we had a teacher whose fixed idea was to make us learn the lives of famous women, in order to incite us to imitate them. The exhortation which accompanied the narration was always the same: "You too should try to become famous. Would you not like to become famous?" "Oh no,' I replied drily one day, "I shall never be that. I care to much for the children of the future to add yet another biography to the list."
Maria Montessori was born in the town of Chiravalle in the province of Ancona August 31, 1870, the same year Italy became a unified Nation. Her parent were Alessandro Montessori and Renilde Stopanni, niece of the famous scholar-priest, Antonio Stoppani.
Due to the nature of her father's job as a low ranking finance official, Maria's family moved around a great deal when Maria was young. Then, In 1875, when Maria was five years old, the family moved for the last time. Alessandro was transferred to Rome as an accountant first class. When Maria was six years old her parents enrolled her in the first grade of the public school on the Via di San Nicolo da Tolentino. Italy's school system was in shape, disorganized and backward. "Between 1860 and 1900 there were thirty-three ministers if education, each wit his own policies and none with enough government funds to accomplish anything at all."Maria did well, throughout school, in spite of this and, if nothing else, it showed her what education is not supposed to be.
Maria was not thought to be a remarkable scholar during her grade school years. She "was considered to be a sweet, if not especially bright little girl" who was not competitive academically. "...
... middle of paper ...
...ecame largely accepted by the world's society she did not seek a forced marginalitybut rather, she used her renown to further her cause.
Maria Montessori was an amazing woman, not only for her intelligence and perseverance, but for her compassion for others and her determination to use her knowledge to benefit those unfortunates deemed unworthy by society.
1. Gardner, Howard. Creating Minds. New York: Basic Books, 1993
2. Kramer, Rita. Maria Montessori: A Biography. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1976
3. Orem, R.C., and Marjorie Foster Coburn. Montessori: Prescription for Children with Learning Disabilities. New York: Capricorn Books. 1978
4. Seldin, Tim. "Maria Montessori: An Historical Perspective. http://www.montessori.org/mariawho.htm
5. Standing, E.M. Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work. New York:Hollis and Carter, Limited, 1957.
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