“Within the child lies the fate of the future.”

—Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, researcher, educator, and humanitarian whose methods have grown into a movement known and practiced around the world. Born in 1870 and one of the of the first female doctors in Italy, Montessori eventually turned her attention to the study of education and child development.

Her work with and observation of the children at her first Casa dei Bambini (“children’s house”) provided the foundation for her approach, which continues to be validated by current research. Many elements of her method are essential components of today’s traditional classrooms.

At the heart of Montessori…


a peaceful, carefully-prepared environment made up of materials that have been selected and arranged to support the children’s evolving developmental needs


concentration, coordination, independence, and a sense of order developed through sensory exploration with concrete materials and caring for self and the classroom


freedom as the children engage with whichever materials interest them for as long as they like, often again and again as they work toward mastery


adults’ observations, allowing them to prepare the environment to best meet the children’s needs and to understand their learning and behavior


respect, wonder, community, and joy!

Visit the American Montessori Society for more information about Maria Montessori and Montessori education.

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