In conjunction with the recent Women’s Equality Day and Maria Montessori’s Birthday
This week, we celebrate Maria Montessori’s birthday. Born in the 1800’s, Maria was an amazing woman and her story is yet another example of what can be achieved if we are determined to do so.
Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn. Clever and multi-talented, her teaching methods of early childhood education are still in force today.
Growing up in Rome, a paradise of libraries, museums, and fine schools, Maria was well-schooled and an avid reader, which was unusual for Italian women of that time. Her thirst for knowledge took root and she immersed herself in many fields of study.
Maria was a sterling student, confident, ambitious, and unwilling to be limited by traditional expectations for women. At age 13 she entered an all-boys technical institute to prepare for a career in engineering. In time, however, she changed her mind, deciding to become a doctor instead. She applied to the University of Rome’s medical program, but was rejected. Maria took additional courses to better prepare her for entrance to the medical school and persevered.
With great effort she gained admittance, opening the door a bit wider for future women in the field. She graduated from medical school and became Italy’s first female physician.
Maria is an inspiring role model for girls, as she had to overcome prejudice to achieve her dream of becoming a doctor. When her first application at medical school was refused, Maria stayed firm in her belief and told the interviewing professor, “I know I shall become a doctor”.
Maria Montessori believed education was essential to the achievement of peace and went on to develop a revolutionary teaching method. It grew into a movement that spread all over the world.
- When and where was Maria born?
- When did she graduate from the University as a Doctor of Medicine?
- What was the name of the University she graduated from?
- What prompted Maria to look into the welfare and education of children?
- CHALLENGE: Find out what the difference is between traditional classrooms and the Montessori classroom.
- DEBATE: Create a debate about each method and see what your audience has to say about each classroom style. Who is ‘For’ and who is ‘Against’?
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