Washington: Google Doodle is celebrating the 142th Birthday of Maria Tecla Artemesia Montessori, known for her educational method used in public and private schools throughout the world. The Montessori system of education tries to uncover a child’s creative potential and gives emphasis on independence.
Born on August 31, 1870, Montessori was an Italian physician and educator, a noted humanitarian and devout Catholic best known for the philosophy of education which bears her name.
Her father, Alessandro Montessori, 33 years old at the time, was an official of the Ministry of Finance working in the local state-run tobacco factory. Her mother, Renilde Stoppani, 25 years old, was well educated for the times and was probably related to Italian geologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani.
Montessori education focuses learning on independence, relative freedom and respect for a child’s natural mental development. Some defining features of Monstessori education include:
1- Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 9 years old by far the most common
2- Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
3- Uninterrupted blocks of work time
4- A Constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
5- Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
6- In addition, many Montessori schools design their programs with reference to Montessori’s model of human development from her published works, and use pedagogy, lessons, and materials introduced in teacher training derived from courses presented by Montessori during her lifetime.
In 1907 she opened her first preschool for children and her success to the opening of other Montessori schools. She travelled to different countries, including India, to disseminate her educational system. Maria Montessori was in India from 1939 to 1946.
On May 6, 1952, Montessori died of a cerebral haemorrhage in the Netherlands. She was 81.