“Maria Montessori is probably the best known of the thinkers. She was the first Italian female physician, and, years ahead of her time, was a feminist and a children's advocate.
She became intrigued with the education of young children for various reasons. She did not like the rigidity of Italian public education and was concerned about the education of children who were mentally retarded or delayed.
Montessori abandoned her role in medicine at a time when Italy's economy was precarious when many families lived in poverty and in facilities without regard to health and safety.
As she pondered her concerns about the situation, a reform movement brought about programs of employment for parents. That was the good news. The bad news was that children were left alone for long days.”
"Dr. Maria Montessori believed that no human being is educated by another person. She must do it herself or it will never be done.
A truly educated individual continues learning long after hours and years she spends in the classroom because she is motivated from within by a natural curiosity and love for knowledge.
Dr. Montessori felt, therefore, that the goal of early childhood education should not be to fill the child with facts from a pre-selected course of studies, but rather to cultivate her own natural desire to learn.
In the Montessori classroom this objective is approached in two ways: first, by allowing each child to experience the excitement of learning by her own choice rather than by being forced; and second, by helping her to perfect all her natural tools for learning so that her ability will be at a maximum in future learning situations.
The Montessori material have this dual long-range purpose in addition to their immediate purpose of giving specific information to the child"