Dr. Maria Montessori
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She became the first woman in Italy to earn a degree in medicine and also held a degree in anthropology. Her clinical work led her to observe how children learn. She discovered learning is a natural process by which children develop themselves according to what is in their environment. This discovery affected her so deeply that she spent the rest of her life reforming education and being an advocate for children and their role in educating the human potential. Dr. Montessori believed that education should be about uncovering children’s “unique potential”, not about viewing children as “blank slates” to be filled by the educators.
Near the end of her life she was nominated three separate times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Today her work is carried on through the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), which she founded in 1929.