Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
1870 31 August Birth of Maria Montessori in Chiaravalle, Ancona, Italy
1882 Parents moved to Rome in order to give Maria a better education. They were keen that she should become a teacher. Maria had other ideas; she was not a traditionalist. She was interested in mathematics but decided on engineering, then became interested in biology which led her to medical school.
1896 She became the first woman doctor in Italy. She joined the staff of the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Rome Medical School. She visited children committed to insane asylums and realised that many children’s problems were not of a medical, but of an educational nature.
1897 She gave a lecture at a pedagogical meeting in Turin on the needs of the mentally challenged children.
1898 She was appointed Director of State Orthophrenic School by the Italian Minister of Education.
1900 She attended a feminist conference in London, speaking on child labour in the mines in Sicily.
1904 She was appointed Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rome.
1907 She was asked to direct a day care centre in a housing project in the slum section of San Lorenzo, which led to the opening of the first Montessori School.
1909The first training course by Dr Montessori was set up at Citta de Castello near Assisi. One of the students was Anne E. George from the USA.
1912 The first Montessori school was set up in the USA in Tarrytown, New York by Anne George. Dr Montessori gave a brief lecture tour of the USA.
1913 The first International Montessori course, via Princippessa Clotilde in Rome with 90 students from all over the world including Lily Hutchinson representing London County Council.
1914 The second International Montessori course via Trionfale in Rome. McClure offered to build an institute for training Montessori teachers in the USA. Dr Montessori declined the offer.
1915 She returned to the USA. A Montessori class was held at the San Francisco World’s Fair. Helen Parkhurst was the official representative of American Montessori Society. The Dalton Plan evolved.
1916-1918 She travelled between Spain (Seminari Laboratori de Pedagia, Barcelona) and the USA.
1919 First London Montessori course.
1920 She visited Amsterdam. Montessori Schools began to wane in the USA but flourished in Europe and the rest of the world.
1924-1925 She edited ‘The Call of Education’ magazine. Schools began in Holland, Ireland, England, Germany, Panama, Bulgaria and South Africa.
1925 The First International Congress was held in Helsinki.
1926 Association Montessori Internationale was founded. She lectured at a meeting of the League of Nations, Geneva on Education and Peace. Her lectures were published in book form.
1934 The Fourth International congress held in Rome was to be her last visit to Italy. Afterwards, she established permanent residency in the Netherlands.
1939 She visited India and ran a training course for 300 students.
1946 The Montessori St Nicholas Training Centre was founded at Princes Gate, Knightsbridge on her last trip to London.
1949 She addressed UNESCO. ‘The Absorbent Mind’ was first published.
1952 On May 6th, she died peacefully in the garden of her home in Noordwijk-on-Sea.