“Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.”
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. After earning her medical degree in 1896, she specialized in nervous and mental diseases. At this time she came into contact with intellectually-challenged children and her success educationally with these children led her to turn her attention to the teaching of all children. In 1907, she began work in the first "Casa Dei Bambini" (House of Children) in Rome, Italy. Through observation and study Maria Montessori discovered certain potentialities of childhood which, when provided for, promoted the development of strong, balanced and happy personalities. Throughout her life she continued to observe and learn from children the way to unlock and develop the full potential of the child.
During her educational activities, Dr. Montessori was assisted by her son Mario, who worked with his mother until her death in 1952. Mario M. Montessori, who specialized in the education of children in the six to twelve year old age group, continued to protect the integrity of Dr. Montessori’s ideas and their applications throughout the world until his death in 1982. Maria Montessori’s emphasis on helping develop complete individuals who were also global citizens, led her to being twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. (For a more detailed biography...)
Renilde Montessori was Maria Montessori’s youngest grandchild. She lived and traveled with her grandmother as a child. After many years training teachers and furthering Montessori in Canada, in 1989 she founded the Foundation for Montessori Education, the AMI teacher training centre in Toronto, where she served as Director of Training until 1995. Though she traveled all over the world advocating on behalf of the child, she held a self-professed fondness for Canada. She was a personal friend and mentor to many of our staff at Maria Montessori School and was instrumental in the early development of our school. After dedicating her life to Montessori Education and the child, she passed away at her home in Spain in 2012.