Who was Dr. Maria Montessori?
Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952), the founder of Montessori education, was a female doctor of medicine and worked in the fields of psychiatry, education and anthropology. She began her professional research of children through working with children with handicapped and socially deprived children. It was during this time that she developed special apparatus to aid the development of these children, through scientific observation and pedagogical experimentation. These bespoke learning aids proved to be a success, greatly improving the performance of even the more able children. She found that the materials, which are now used in Montessori Schools globally, helped children in demonstrating independence and self discipline whilst working with great care, concentration and joy.
What is a Montessori Directress... why are they not addressed as 'teachers'?
The Montessori directresses are the link between the environment and the child, and are not labelled 'teachers', since they demonstrate the use of the apparatus and thereafter allow the child to explore for themselves. They act as role models to the children and are responsible in maintaining calm and order in the classroom. The Montessori pedagogy, thus, promotes a child-centred environment, allowing them to explore their unique capabilities, creating motivated, curious and joyful learners.