Who was Maria Montessori?
Maria Montessori was an influential woman who changed the world with her insightful and effective educational methods. Born in 1870 in Rome, she became one of the first female doctors in Italy. She was a scientist, an activist, a feminist, an innovator and a powerful advocate for young children.
Life and Work
Dr. Montessori worked with hundreds of children throughout her years of research, and developed a scientific method of education based on her observations of their natural development. At a time when children were treated as vessels to be filled with information by adults, Dr. Montessori believed that children take a central role in their own development. She believed that the most important time in human development is the first few years of life, and that when surrounded by activities to support their natural development, children actually educate themselves through the exploration of their environment.
An Innovative Approach
Dr. Montessori’s philosophy and pedagogy upended the traditional educational beliefs of the day over 100 years ago. She developed a child-centered approach to learning that was revolutionary for her time, and which continues to be a leading model for early childhood education today. The Montessori method has stood the test of time: many of Dr. Montessori’s theories and concepts have been proven by scientific research decades after she first proposed them.
Montessori and Tiny Earth Toys
We are proud to offer many Montessori-inspired toys to our Tiny Earth Toys subscribers: toys that are inspired by Dr. Montessori’s principles and practices, that support children’s unique developmental stages and help them to explore their environments. We continue to be inspired by Dr. Montessori’s commitment to meeting children where they are in their development, and supporting them each step of the way!
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Want to know more?
For more information about Dr. Montessori’s life, Gabrielle recommends reading The Child Is The Teacher: A Life of Maria Montessori by Cristina De Stefano. This new biography published in English in 2022 was written by an Italian journalist who is not part of the Montessori movement, and presents an un-biased account of Montessori's life, including her challenges and her triumphs.
Wondering about our toys?
A "Montessori toy" is and isn't really a thing. But in this post, we go into the 5 elements that we consider when selecting toys for our families.