“Social grace, inner discipline and joy. These are the birth-right of the human being who has been allowed to develop essential human qualities.”
Dr. Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. One of her greatest accomplishments was to have become the first female physician in the history of Italy. Dr. Montessori had the opportunity to work with young children in a facility, which sparked her interest in developing programs that are most suited for children. Through her insightful observations, Dr. Montessori discovered that children learn at their own pace, and each child’s pace is different.
In 1907, she opened the first childcare centre in Rome. This centre is also known as the “Casa De Bambini”, or the Children’s House. The children’s behaviour in the centre has shown her that children go through periods of intensive sensitivities to acquire and learn certain skills. Dr. Montessori called these periods, the sensitive period. Each period has a unique natural tendency that motivates young children to seek objects and relationships in environment with which to fulfil their special and unique inner potentials. As such, the environment that the children are in must be prepared to suit their sensitive periods. Presently, the Montessori pedagogy is used all around the world and many more schools are beginning to adapt this approach in nurturing young children.