Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) (Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori) was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children learn naturally.
Born into a middle-class family in the provincial town of Chiaravalle, Montessori consistently broke out of the prescribed gender limitations found in Italy at the time. When she was 14 years old, Montessori attended classes at a boys' technical institute, where she further developed her aptitude for math and her interest in the sciences, particularly biology. She then went on to become the first female doctor in Italy.
Montessori consistently broke out of the prescribed gender limitations found in Italy at the time.
Maria Montessori was a pioneer of theories in early childhood education and opened the first Montessori school, the Casa dei Bambini, in Rome on January 6, 1907. Montessori believed a "prepared learning" environment was conducive to sense learning and creative exploration and encouraged teachers to let children's natural interests take the lead. Her educational method is still implemented today in many schools around the globe.