Summer vacation for school children around the country will soon be upon us, a time when we look forward to the excitement that summer brings. It is also a good time to reflect on the importance of our educational instutions, and today we will do that with a brief look at the Montessori school system.
Copyright Cowles Magazines and Broadcasting, Inc. publishers of LOOK Magazine
Nearly 100 years ago Dr. Maria Montessori, an Italian physician, inspired the birth of this worldwide educational movement. Dr. Montessori, one of Italy’s first female physicians, became interested in education while caring for mentally challenged children in a psychiatric clinic in Rome. There she combined sensory-rich environments and hands-on experiential techniques in the hopes of reaching children previously labeled “deficient and insane.” The experiment was a resounding success and with it the start of what today is a network of nearly 1,200 schools across the country that have incorporated core elements of her model—multi-age classrooms and early childhood education.
The Dodd Center holds the records of the American Montessori Society, which was founded in 1960 and since that time has succeeded in reviving the Montessori method in the United States and gaining recognition for it as a valid educational system. The society has become the foremost resource in America for Montessori education and teacher training. Check out more information at http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/findaids/ams/MSS20060230.html