The educational method was devised over a hundred years ago by Maria Montessori, Italy’s first woman doctor.
She originally began studying children from deprived areas of Italy, setting up a school for them and offering materials for them to promote life skills and independence.
Through observations and studies she refined her methods and developed materials, and her results with the children became so successful that she used them on children who were not from deprived backgrounds, but from wealthier families.
Schools were set up for children to learn at their own pace, with different areas in the classroom for the senses, practical life, culture, mathematics and language.
She believed that children had “sensitive” periods in their lives that enabled them to absorb language, reading and writing at different stages in their lives.
Equipping children with the right tools to promote their learning leads them to satisfy their own interests and offers purposeful learning. Many scientists and educational psychologists became very interested in the evidence of Montessori’s methods and the high results they achieved with calm and happy children.
Montessori schools are now popular worldwide with over 22,000 all over the globe.