Maria Montessori

Celebrating 150 Years

Maria Montessori was a pioneering scientist and educator, who has inspired people globally with her genuinely universal approach to the development of the child. Today, Montessori education is applied across all ages, from birth to eighteen and through to adulthood, in more than 140 countries across the world.

Celebrating 150 Years

31 August 2020 is 150 years since the birth of Maria Montessori. Montessori was ahead of her time in her research, educational approach and pioneering work for social reform. The work of Montessori today continues to motivate people to change the world for the better and has impacted the lives of children and teachers for more than 110 years. 

2020 is a year to celebrate her amazing legacy of Montessori education, as well as her commitment to advocating for the human rights of the child, a cause which is continued through the work of the Educateurs sans Frontières. To mark the 2020 anniversary, a special event will be held in her birth place, Chiaravalle, Italy on 31 August 2020 and there will be a major international conference in Rome on 24 and 25 October 2020.

Maria Montessori 1916

Maria Montessori was born on the 31st August 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. From an early age she broke through the traditional barriers for women, attending a technical school with initial ambitions to be an engineer, to go on to choose a career in medicine. In 1896 Montessori became one of the first Italian women ever to obtain a medical degree.

Montessori passionately advocated for the human rights of the child, work which was continued by her youngest granddaughter, Renilde. Today, Montessori principles touch the lives of children and adults across the world, in refugee camps, remote communities and in support for those living with dementia, continuing to fulfil Montessori’s legacy of education for social reform.

A Montessori child is capable, independent, curious, able to take initiative and is academically strong. Montessori recognises that children have an innate desire to learn, and what they require is an environment to enable that learning to take place. Montessori children and adults are highly capable individuals, who have the skills to thrive and adapt in an ever-changing world, and who truly make an impact on the world around them.