What is montessori
The Montessori method is an alternative educational approach founded by Maria Montessori (1870 to 1852).
Maria Montessori was the first woman to graduate in medicine from the University og Rome, Italy. During her practice as a physician in a psychiatric hospital 1898, she became particularly interested in a group of mentally retarded children. She argued that these children needed education rather than medical treatment and started educating them. After working with the children for two years they showed great improvement.

In 1907 she started a new preschool for 50-60 children, located in one of Rome’s ghettoes. The results she achieved were sensational. During this period she began to form what would later be known as the Montessori pedagogy. Her method was soon known throughout Europe and the USA, and became increasingly popular in educating children of all social classes. In the 1920s, Montessori primary and preschools were established on all five continents.

Why did this method of education evoke such interest,
and why is it still so popular throughout the world?

Maria Montessori focused on the child’s needs and interests and the development opportunities available in the child’s environment. Based on her observations she designed activities and materials that would stimulate the child at any stage of the child’s sensitive periods. She was not bound to any educational theory, and she had no strong opinions concerning what the child should learn.

The most important starting point for Maria Montessori was to observe, listen to and understand the child. Based on these observations she would prepare an environment of activities where the child’s needs would be fulfilled. For the child, the days at preschool were filled with challenging, exciting and developing activities.