Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori (August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. Her educational method is in use today in some public and private schools throughout the world. Montessori had many accomplishments with one being The Montessori method which is a method of educating young children that stresses development of a child’s own initiative and natural abilities, especially through practical play. This method allowed children to develop at their own pace and provided educators with a better understanding of child development. Her book, The Montessori Method, presents the method in detail.
Educators in the field set up special environments to meet the needs of the students in three age groups: two and a half years, two and a half to six years, and six and a half to twelve years. The students learn through activities that involve exploration, manipulations, order, repetition, abstraction, and communication. The teacher is to encourage children in the first two age groups to use their senses to explore and manipulate materials in their immediate environment. Children in the last age group deal with abstract concepts based on their newly developed powers of reasoning, imagination, and creativity.