Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. Following her studies in medicine she used her training in clinical and scientific observation to develop an approach to education that was to become known as the Montessori Method. In 1907 Dr Maria Montessori established a classroom in Rome for underprivileged children. In a short period of time this classroom became famous world-wide because these children, with so few prospects, very quickly became socially and intellectually independent, not through adult coercion, through their own activity, interest and effort. The learning environment designed by Montessori to enable these children to achieve their potential in such a joyful way was the culmination of years of study and innovation in the fields of medicine, psychology and anthropology.
Australian educators attended the first Montessori training course held in Rome in 1913 and returned to Australia to establish Montessori schools in several states... Montessori schools and early childhood settings have continued to flourish and grow today.
Montessori education aims to provide children and young people, from birth to maturity, with learning environments designed to support the development of social, intellectual and ethical independence. Montessori education is often described as 'education for life'. The foundation principle of the Montessori approach is that children learnt best when they learn through their own freely chose activity, enabling them to become self-confident, self-reliant and self- disciplined with a lifelong love of learning. Children also develop the ability to move with co- ordination and precision, the ability to concentrate and to complete tasks independently. (Montessori National Curriculum Framework; Nov 2011).