A woman of pure determination Maria Montessori had a very interesting early life. Born in Chiaravalle, Italy on the 31st of August in the year 1870 (Maria-Montessori,2017, p. 1) she would grow to become a very successful and influential woman of her time. In a world that belittled female knowledge, strengths, and opportunities, she was the billboard for woman across Italy in the late 1800s. She broke social normality’s that would then be, considered disgusting in the eyes of many, but astonishing in the hearts of woman who thirst for change.
Montessori sparked my interest in learning about a strong independent woman she was who opened many doors in the light of social developments of children that still takes great importance today. Maria Montessori was raised in a world were woman had only two career paths deemed accepted by men those jobs included either becoming a nun or a teacher (Dasbach,2003).
Even as a young girl she refused to conform and at the age of thirteen she entered an all-boys technical institute to prepare for a career in engineering, although she had changed her career path into a future in the medical field (Maria-Montessori,2017, p. ) she took on any subject manor with confidence that shed succeed. Although she faced many obstacles thrown her way, such as the University of Rome’s medical program rejecting her admittance, due to lacking knowledge in classical languages. she refused to give up and instead took additional courses to better prepare herself and succeeded in gaining entrance.
With the approval of her mother and the disapproval of her father whom at the time of her studies believed she should excel in the area of teaching like many women of her time. Maria Montessori, disagreed with er father’s ideals and continued to preserver in her studies. She would later become Italy’s first female to earn a medical degree in 1886, now considered a physician, educator, and innovator (Maria-Montessori,2017, p. 1) thus eventually making her father proud. Maria Montessori’s studies and field work as a physician led her to focus on psychiatry and pediatrics, thus allowing her to pursue both areas as a researcher with the University of Rome. The green light was set towards working with disadvantaged children, mainly those with lower socioeconomic status.
While working with and observing disadvantage children she set the motion for her recognition defining her influence in research. In 1907, she had excepted a new challenge that allowed her to open a childcare center in a poor inner-city district, now known as the first Casa dei Bambini (Maria-Montessori,2017, p. 1). It was in this work she began to realize that a certain curiosity in these children and because of this curiosity came an intelligent approach to the learning process (Jordan, 2003-2017).
While pursuing her education in the medical field she came across a certain interest in teaching children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Montessori, helped reconstruct the way disabled children were viewed and treated, because they were then viewed as medical embodiment. From analyzing the children in the learning center she noted that the children showed interest in working with puzzles, learning to prepare meals, and manipulating materials that held lessons in math. By observing the children closely, she also gathered that they predominately learned from their surroundings, and by teaching themselves.
When researching special education to further her knowledge, Montessori came across the work of Jean Itard (1775-1838), famous for his work with the “wild boy of Aveyron” as well as his work with a student by the name of Edouard Seguin (1812-1880) set forth the understanding and creation of physical and sensory activities, for developing the mental processes (Cooney, 2011). Along with Itards theories, she valued theorist Froebel and Sequin.
Sequin had been acknowledging for“ … Sequin taught the idiots how to walk, how to maintain their equilibrium in the most difficult movements of the body – such as going up the stairs, jumping, etc. and finally to feel, beginning the education of the muscular sensations by touching, and reading the difference in temperature, and ending with the education of the senses”(cooney,2011). Itard’s work was done based on his observations and experiments that led the assumption towards the normal human growth having developmental phases. It was with the theory of value conducted by these theorists that Montessori took to furthering her theories of the developmental phases of children with disabilities.
Maria Montessori made claims that through manipulation and movement of the senses that children would then show signs of knowledge of language, critical thinking, abstract thought, math skills, practical life skills, discipline, and problem solving (Cooney, 2011). Without the change to progress with the help of educators these children will have ended in a vegetable state, but with guidance they will have a life worth the experience and learning. She would soon be the voice of Italy’s woman in the work force and demand equal pay for equal work during the International Congress for Women’s Rights in Berlin, Germany (Dasbach, 2003).
Because of her determination and set beliefs she made a change that very day in September of 1896, the conference adopted her proposal of equal pay for equal work, breaking headlines in newspapers (Dasbach,2003). In 1898, she became co-director alongside Giuseppe Montesano, taking control of the Orthophrenic School of Rome, home for children with disabilities (Dasbach,2003). In result of her success in as co-director, she was appointed as a director for a new training institute for special education teachers in the year 1900 (Maria-Montessori,2017, p. 1).
In 1907, according to the article written by Adam Jordan, she fully took advantage of Casa dei Bambini during this year she was able to implement a style of education that she felt was more effective and more focused on the natural patterns of child development. It was then, she designed her own learning materials and furniture specifically designed for early childhood education. The United States soon took recognition of her knowledgeable efforts in making a difference in the field of education for special needs children, that in 1907 the first Montessori school opened in Scarborough, New York (1911).
Despite her success she was exiled from Italy by Musilini because she refused to educate children the traditional Italian way (Cooney,2011). During one of her class sessions she had arrived late to, she came across the special needs children whom been exposed to daily activities she had taught them and had conducted them as she would have, there she had realized that giving them freedom to work independently with materials.
Maria Montessori, had just made a huge break through by engaging the children in real life activities such as letting them hand was by themselves, washing a table, or even polish shoes. The focus of her teaching style was to enable the children to develop independence and self-discipline that led to freedom and selfconfidence (Dasbach,2003). Montessori had been inspired in her time of developing a well-rounded form of development from inspiration derived by Aristotle himself quoting “that there was nothing in the intellect which does not fit exist in the senses… nd the hands and mind work together, making the learning experience one of doing rather than simply observing. ”
No one child learns at the same pace as another, it takes time and Montessori took knowledge of the fact. She made sure that children admitted into her schools had the best learning environments allowing them to develop skills and knowledge to live in society. With children learning at their own pace it would mean no pressure would be afflicted on the young individual as well as the teacher.
Although there would be less pressure that in no means meant less work with the student, but more interaction guiding him/her in building the skills necessary in life. Throughout the learning developments set in motion by Montessori she helped bring families together in participating in the education plan of their loved ones (Cooney,2011). It was said by Montessori herself that union of family and school in the matter of educational aims that would enhance student learning and become more meaningful to both child and parent. Both home and school are places of