Maria Montessori (1870-1952) traveled the world of her time as an ambassador for better quality human
Maria Montessori (1870-1952) traveled the world of her time as an ambassador for better quality human beings She spoke and wrote on behalf of a global harmony rooted in a diversity of cultures committed to peace. Montessori, trained as a physician, combined a sturdy faith in science with an even sturdier one in children as the citizens and shapers of the fixture, deserving of an edtlcation that would free them from the often crippling ways in which their own parents had been taught to think and live.
Montessori's first efforts were toward improved education. Her Children's Houses, established before the first World War (1914-1918) in Italy, attracted worldwide attention. There, young children were gathered together in family-like constellations, under the direction and protet tion of adults who respected them as emergent persons rather than as deficient adults.
In 1919, in Washington, D.C. when the Progressive Education Association was established as the first national group in America committed to child-centered education, Montessori was there in the person of Anne George, her American translator and the head of the Washington Montesson School. In 1958, an awakened American interest in Montessori's educational ideas sparked a thnving enterprise of school development.
Through her work with children, Montessori discovered her true mission, which was to humanity. She reasoned that only better quality human beings would make the world a better place. She believed that improving the social conditions under which people lived and worked would help them become healthier, more intelligent, more perceptive regarding the world's problems and their local solutions and more caring ahout each other and the fate of the planet.
Montessori pionccrcd in thinking globally, but acting locally. Her ideas compel our attention now, because the demands she made on the world have now become our demands