“And so we discovered, that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.” [Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, translated by Claude A. Claremont]
Maria Montessori is an Italian innovator, educator and physician, who created the Montessori program. The Montessori program is a special program generally in elementary school, which revolves around the idea that children should learn through their curiosity, not through a teacher pointing at a whiteboard and telling them facts. Maria created the Montessori program after she started to question the current methods of teaching. She experimented with different methods until she found the most successful one, which eventually led to the Montessori program. This method was a huge contribution to the field of teaching and is used all around the world in over twenty-two thousand schools.
Montessori left a ding in the universe because she helped create a method of teaching that proved to be more successful than the current ones. Because of it, children around the world are learning to be autonomous learners who are driven by their curiosity. I think her work will be one of the main methods of teaching and will be used for centuries in the future.
As a woman in the 19th century, she faced the obstacle of gender inequality. In her time, good opportunities and extended education was hard to get because she was a woman. For example, she was rejected when applying for medical school. She really wanted to get in, but she feared that if she tried to apply again, she would still be rejected. To further prepare herself for the application, she took many additional courses, and when she applied again, she made it in. Some wisdom I can take away from this is that you should try your hardest no matter what, and you should use failures as an opportunity to learn for the future rather than a sign that you should stop trying.
In elementary school, I was in the Montessori program. Until now, I didn’t know anything about the creator of the program, or really anything about the program at all. I want to use this opportunity to learn more about Maria Montessori, her program, and how she impacted my life. Also, I think it’s important to teach others about Maria Montessori so that more people can register their children for the program and benefit from it.
Maria Montessori lived in the 19th century in Italy, while I was born in the 20th century in Canada. Our different environments are a barrier for me to connect to her. For example, I have unlimited access to information through the internet, while she only had books and people to learn from. I will address these barriers by looking at her books and articles, so that I can make inferences about how she thinks and see her perspective of the world.
When Maria finished elementary school, she convinced her parents to let her receive further education, even though education after elementary school was not common for women at that time. I can relate to her desire to learn and focus on her studies, because I choose to put my time and effort into school, whereas most of my friends outside of TALONS are less dedicated to school and more dedicated to sports like swimming and dancing.
One of Maria’s qualities is that she is a very caring person, who helps her students, friends, and family whenever needed. As I move forward in TALONS, my goal is to be more like her, because I think that being a caring and helpful person are good qualities to have in life.
The next step in my research will be reading some of the books that she wrote and learning about her mindset, and how she thinks. If I know how she thinks, then I will be able to infer better about her personality and perspective on the world. Also, I can learn more about the Montessori method, program, and teaching styles in the process.