I’m a teacher and I love Italy so over the years I have naturally been drawn to the theory and philosophy of Maria Montessori. Maria Montessori believed that education is a natural process acquired by experiences within a prepared environment where the task of the teacher is a motivator to encourage the unique potential within each child. Born in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree. While teaching at the University of Rome and observing the many poor and working-class children who attended the free clinics she developed an interest in the treatment of special needs children and how they learn. Her background and experience in psychiatry, education, anthropology and engineering (she spent 7 years in the field before starting medical school) inspired an educational revolution that changed the way we think about teaching and learning. She developed nidos (“nests”), infant communities and casa dei bambini “children’s houses” (for ages 3-6) as models for early childhood education.
My mother-in-law, Marian, was a former Montessori teacher and she and I would often have thoughtful conversations about early childhood education so when my son was born she and I began our own internal Montessori experiment (his name is Eric). At that time (early 70’s) not many parents, communities or teachers knew about Montessori techniques so Marian and I would often create our own teaching aids and learning environment (complete with homemade toys).
Over the years Montessori education has become more mainstream and there are many resources and sites for parents and supporters of the Montessori method. So I was happy to find this link on
Educational Toys Maria Montessori Would Love which create visual hands on experiences and inspire success and a deeper curiosity for learning.