Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree and progressed to working with children with special needs. Maria Montessori said that the first six years of a child’s life is the most crucial time for their development. During this time a child’s mind is like a sponge. Maria Montessori called this the ‘absorbent mind’ stage.
‘The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.’ – The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori.
Maria Montessori created a specific environment for the children which she called the prepared environment. During 0-6 years of age the child travels through 6 sensitive periods: sensitivity to small objects, sensitivity to walking, sensitivity to order, refinement of the sense, sensitivity to language and sensitivity to social aspects. Maria Montessori designed her Montessori materials into five sections: Practical life, Sensorial, Maths, Language, Culture. Children can independently learn and develop at their own ease.
‘Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed’- Maria Montessori