“Montessori” means different things to different people. There are large and small differences in understanding what constitutes the Montessori method. For our purposes, we will view it as the educational application of a theory of human development articulated by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870-1953) in the first part of the twentieth century.
Dr. Montessori, an Italian pediatrician, developed her philosophy and methods on a deep understanding of and respect for children. She believed that if they are free to grow in healthy surroundings and under an appropriate environment, children will naturally develop into successful adults, each according to his own potential and timetable. It is the responsibility of parents, educators and other adults to provide those conditions and guidance through the development cycles.
In the following sections, we have provided some basic information about Maria Montessori and her educational philosophy. We have also provided several excellent resources for you to learn more about this fascinating approach to child development.