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Maria Montessori

Educator / Physician

Born: 31 August 1870
Died: 6 May 1952
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Best known as:

The founder of Montessori schools

In 1894 Maria Montessori became the first woman physician in Italy. Her interest in children and education led her to open a children's school in 1907 in the slums outside Rome. Montessori put into practice her theory that children have a natural "tendency towards elevation," and created an environment for self-education and self-realization, with remarkable success. She became internationally famous and schools using the Montessori method now exist all over the world.

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