Maria Montessori (1870-1952

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Se spune adesea despre Maria Montessori ca a fost in multe privinte inaintea timpului sau. Nascuta in Italia in 1870 s-a mutat impreuna cu parintii la Roma in 1875, la varsta de 5 ani. Desi tatal ei sustinea punctele de vedere traditionale legate de educarea femeilor, abordarea ceva mai deschisa pe care o avea mama sa a incurajato pe Maria sa exploreze inclinatia ei naturala spre invatatura, in ciuda restrictiilor sociale ce planau asupra femeilor intr-o societate a barbatilor acelor vremuri. Fara sustinerea mamei nu ar fi facut primul pas in cariera educationala de a se inscrie la varsta de 13 ani la o scoala cu profil tehnic frecventata numai de baieti. A inceput sa studieze ingineria iar din aceasta experienta a inceput sa isi modeleze o imagine despre cum nu trebuie sa fie o scoala. De asemenea a luat hotararea de a nu isi continua studiile superioare in inginerie. Rudele, prietenii si tatal sau au rasuflat usurati ca a decis sa se indeparteze de un domeniu atat de nespecific femeilor. Ceea ce ei nu stiau era ca Maria Montessori a hotarat sa studieze medicina, un domeniu la fel de exclusivist in acele vremuri. Se fac presupuneri legate de o implicare a Papei Leon al XIII in admiterea ei la Universitatea din Roma la programul de medicina. A absolvit printre primii din clasa dar diploma i-a fost redactata pentru a se potrivi genului sau si pozitiei in societate. Ea devine prima femeie medic din Italia. Pe langa sarcinile de medic, Maria Montesori a realizat cercetari in medicina psihiatrica si si-a continuat studiile in filozofie, psihologie si educatie. A fost numita profesor de antropologie la Universitatea din Roma in 1904. In 1897 ea a avut o revelatie “am simtit ca deficientele mentale prezentau mai cu seama o problema pedagogica decat una medicala”. Copiii cu care lucra ea nu puteau fi tratati in spitale ci trebuiau sa fie antrenati in scoli. Datorita acestei revelatii a inceput sa-si canalizeze o mare parte din timp spre perfectionarea educatiei. Dorea sa foloseasca natura in scoala pentru a se intersecta cu nevoile reale ale copiilor. In 1906 la varsta de 36 de ani, Maria Montessori a fondat prima Casa a copiiilor, pentru copiii clasei muncitoare din cel mai rau famat cartier. Avand in grija in jur de 60 de copii ea si-a inceput educatia prin instruirea copiiilor mai mari pentru a putea ajuta la treburile gospodaresti. A introdus materialele pe care le gandise anterior si spre surprinderea ei a descoperit cat de natural se adapteaza copiii si le face placere sa isi indeplineasca sarcinile. Structura muncii si activitatile constructive le dadeau copiiilor un sentiment al valorii personale pe care nu l-au experimentat pana atunci.

Montesano. De la aceasta revelatie pentru frumusetea si potentialul individual a crescut metoda Montessori. which combined ideas of scholar Froebel. Prin observatiille ei au fost identificate puncte importante in dezvolatarea copilului . problem. She conducted and founded training courses on these continents. she had had a love affair with her colleague. before making him execute a task. In 1900 she began to direct a small school in Rome for 'challenged' youth. and India. Jean Itard and Edouard Seguin. anthropologist Giuseooe Sergi. with methods that she had found in medicine. Maria Montesori si-a continuat munca care ajuns larg recunoscuta si imbratisata in Statele Unite. established a research institute in Spain." She suggested that teachers see themselves as social engineers.Un pas important in imbunatatirea vietii acelor copii a fost incurajarea parintilor de a recunoaste ca au copii speciali si valorosi. and 1951. a son. 1912) She developed an educational theory. Europe. Mario Montessori. The methods she employed were both experimental and miraculous. was born. iar metodologia dezvoltata a evoluat pentru a se adresa cu instrumente si activitati adecvate fiecarei varste. and anthropology. She wanted to use nature in the school in order to meet the real needs of children. (The Montessori Method. and developed Montessori Training Centers in the Netherlands and London. Maria Montessori continued her work. French physicians. In 1897 Montessori had a revelation.in 1949. Europa si India. Montessori's only child." The children she was working with could not be treated in the hospitals they needed to be trained in schools. Din aceasta perioada pana la moarte sa in 1952. before. Given her new insight she began to transfer her time towards perfecting education. rather than mainly a medical. Dr. (The Montessori Method) In March of 1898. she enhanced the scientific qualities of education. "We should really find the way to teach the child how. . "I felt that mental deficiency presented chiefly a pedagogical. Sometime earlier. From this time to her death in 1952. Maria Montessori was a three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. 1950. which became widely recognized and embraced throughout the United States. education.

they did seem to facilitate a more genuine. a secret. and therefore the father's identity.it was botany. "I studied my children. From the beginning amazing things happened. and with out getting tired.. spontaneously. She always held them in the highest regard and taught her teachers to do likewise. Montesano. She began by directing a system of daycare centers for working class children in one of Rome's worst neighborhoods. The Montessori method encouraged what Maria saw as the children's innate ability to 'absorb' culture.And then we saw them 'absorb' far more than reading and writhing. geography. Her son was then sent to a wet nurse and later to a boarding school." This may seem common for us to do today. write. 3. Much to her surprise they began to respond to her teaching methods. and they taught me how to teach them. while still working with Montessori in daily contact. It was then in 1907 that Montessori began to assert her theories and methods of pedagogy. and all with the same ease. mathematics. rigorous. Children younger than three and four years old began to read. She pioneered other attributes of what seems to be modern education today. natural experience. zoology.. She was often heard saying. A system of Math learning materials for very young children was developed which allowed four and five year olds to explore their interests where otherwise told they . and initiate self-respect.. they made a deal to keep the relationship. It was the betrayal of this promise that prompted her to leave the Orthophrenic School..Together. but Montessori was the first to view education in this manner. however. In exchange for the secrete neither of them agreed to ever marry another person." (The Absorbent Mind) Her Curriculum Although her methods were criticized for being too detached. The children entered her program as "wild and unruly". and even harsh for the youth. fell in love with and married.

I took out my handkerchief in such a way that they could hardly see it and blew my nose as softly as I could. and wanted to facilitate a more human experience for the students. It was uncommon to treat children with such a high level of respect. but failed to laugh. orderly places. After I had shown them different ways to use a handkerchief. Montessori also created the "game of silence. the children began to shout. She believed that the learning environment was just as important as the learning itself." she said at one time. I ended by indicating how it could be done as unobtrusively as possible. Back then society felt that children should be seen and not heard." somewhat like meditation. but never talking the time to teach them how to independently take care. When I was on the point of leaving the school. The children watched me in rapt attention.were too young. were the children valued their space for concentration and the process of learning. On one occasion. "SI decided to give the children a slightly humorous lesson on how to blow their noses. Because of this belief her schools were often peaceful. Her methods completely contradicted the educational theories and practice popular during her day. "To deny them (the children) the right to learn because we. but I had hardly finished my demonstration when they broke out into applause that resembled a long repressed ovation in a theater. where each child was able to start . I wondered why. It's as if Montessori knew that they dealt with this situation. as adults think that they shouldn1t is illogical and typical of the way schools have been run. Montessori was also the first in education to have child-sized tables and chairs made for the students. 'Thank you. one of her teachers was late and the students actually crawled through the window and got right to work. On another occasion. thank you for the lesson!'" Adults were often reprimanding kids about their running noses.

from about 1907 to the mid-1930's. During the remaining years of her life. She then traveled to India and Sri Lanka. Montessori devoted all of her time and energy to developing schools throughout Europe and North America. After just a few times trying the game. until 1947. . Dr. they liked it.the day with a sense of peace and focus. where she trained thousands of teachers the Montessori curriculum and methodology.

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