Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born in Italy, in 1870. She graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896, and was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy. As a physician, Dr. Montessori was in touch with young children and became profoundly interested in their development. Through careful and exhaustive scrutiny, she realized that children construct their own personalities as they interact with their environment. She also observed the manner in which they learned as they spontaneously chose and worked with the auto-didactic materials she provided. Her approach to education stemmed from a solid grounding in biology, psychiatry, and anthropology. She studied children of all races and cultures, in many countries around the world, and saw the universality of the laws of human development. She continued her observations throughout her life, widening and deepening her understanding of human development until her death in 1952.