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Dr. Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori (August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator who is well known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy.

Dr. Maria Montessori was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. Her father, Alessandro Montessori, was an accountant for the government. Her mother’s name was Renilde Stoppani. Her mother was well-educated for women of her day when most women in the 19th century were not typically educated. In 1875, her family moved to Rome. She did great at elementary school and she had a strong curiosity and passion for learning. At her early age, Montessori broke gender barriers and expectations when she enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school studying engineering. She began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated with honors in 1896, as one of Italy’s first-ever female physicians. Maria is famous for having developed Montessori pedagogy and method, whose main tenets center around a young child’s natural curiosity and inclination to learn. In 1907, Maria Montessori opened the first Montessori school called the Casa dei Bambini (Children’s House). By 2020, there are over 22,000 Montessori schools across 110 countries around the world.



The name Montessori is not protected by any trademark or copyright. The Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), founded in 1929 by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a global community that continues today to protect the integrity of her work. After Dr. Montessori's death in 1952, the Association Montessori Internationale, under the direction of her son Mario Montessori, worked to establish permanent training centers around the world. It is the longest standing Montessori organization worldwide.

As the name Montessori is the public domain, any school can carry the name without including authentic Montessori programming for your child. Only AMI Montessori is endorsed by Dr. Maria Montessori.

There are hundreds of Montessori schools throughout Canada. However, by 2020, only 15 of them are AMI accredited member schools: 9 from Ontario; 5 from BC; Only 1 of them is from Alberta, Calgary.


Montessori Method

Montessori Method is one of the most universal and outstanding methods of early childhood learning. It was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori who established her theories through observations of children and her training in medicine, psychology and anthropology.

  1. The Montessori method is based on patient scientific observation of the nature of the child by a great educational genius.

  2. It has proved itself to have universal applications.

  3. Children love to work, with meaningful things that give them purpose. It has revealed the small child as a lover of work, intellectual work, spontaneously chosen and carried out with profound joy.

  4. It is based on the child’s imperious need to learn by doing. Children are foreigners to our world; they need to learn by their own hands.

  5. It offers the child a maximum of spontaneity. It nevertheless enables children to reach the same or even higher level of scholastic attainment, as under the traditional system.

  6. It is based on profound respect for the child’s personality and desire to learn.

  7. Higher order of Discipline: it achieves a high level of discipline which originates within the child and is not imposed from without. As each child is allowed a large measure of liberty (freedom); the child can form the basis of real discipline.

  8. It enables the teacher to deal with each child individually in each area, and thus guide him according to his individual requirement.

  9. Each child works at his or her own pace. A child receives individual help as he or she works with the materials and is neither pressured to keep up with other children nor bored by having to wait for others to catch up.

  10. Cohesion in the social unit: it does work with coercive competition and its train of baneful results. More than this, at every turn it presents endless opportunities among the children for mutual help. Independent children in an interdependent group, they help each other. Their peer learning is impactful.

  11. The child works from his own free choice (freedom with limitation).

  12. It develops the whole personality of the child, not just intellectual faculties but also powers of deliberation, initiative and independent choice, with their emotional complements.

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