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Maria Montessori: Celebrating the Life of an Innovative Educator

on August 29, 2012

Each year, on August 31st, Montessorians worldwide celebrate the birthday of Maria Montessori.    Kurious Kitty’s Kurio Kabait  and NAMC’s  Celebrating Maria Montessori’s Birthday in the Montessori Classroom are just two websites that acknowledge the importance of this iconoclastic educator’s birthday.

Throughout the years, countless school and homeschool Montessorians have written to me and shared their personal Montessori success stories.   In the 2007 the AMC Montessori Centenary Newsletter   some special Montessorians shared how the Montessori method impacted their lives. Some snippets from this special newsletter are included below.

“I was very fortunate to have been one of the first Americans assigned to investigate the research of Montessori and Piaget. My investigation took me to London where I was privileged to work with the Nuffield Foundation and, in particular Edith Biggs who was Her Majesties Minister of Maths. Montessori and Piaget were doing research for a joint doctorate in epistemology and their research was discovering some interesting ideas concerning education and the teaching of children and young adults. Edith Biggs worked as a liaison between them and the outside world at the very first after they had completed their doctorate”.

“There were two ideas from the research of Montessori and Piaget that I have thought were the essence of their research:
1 Children learn actively; a child must be allowed to do an activity over and over again until they reassure themselves that what they have learned is true and this activity must be enjoyable.
2 Young adults must be able to read; they discovered in their research that the most singularly important element necessary for a student to understand a subject is that they know the language of that subject.”

Dr. Mel Poage of Action Mathematics

“To me, Montessori is the only program which enables every child to fully realize his potential.  Initially, my interest in Montessori was strictly personal. My husband’s military and subsequent aerospace contract job assignments threw us into some “not so great” school districts. Several moms like me researched alternatives to traditional programs. Montessori philosophy kept coming up, and we were able to integrate “bits and pieces” into a local church preschool program. However, a complete Montessori program was not available, and we had to “settle” on a few practical life exercises and some “hands-on” learning materials produced by major toy manufacturers.

The premature birth of our third child prompted a new sense of urgency in finding the right educational program. He slept through most of his first year and developed at a much slower rate than his older brothers.  He experienced both receptive and expressive language delays, punctuated by dyslexia. Fortunately, my husband’s job had finally brought us to a suburb of Houston which had a Montessori school, and I put my toddler on the waiting list when he was less than two years old,”  Dianne Knesek of Conceptual Learning

“I was absolutely fascinated and comfortable with the approach of the Montessori method. I had attended a one room country school K-6, and taught art in public schools, so the environment felt like home to me. I cherish the memory of my toddler daughter exploring the room while we interviewed with the directress. It was clear Jessica was ready, and I am eternally grateful, that Montessori was there for her. As a young adult she has a love of learning and initiative that I attribute to the Montessori program and teachers.” Rae Peterson of The Creative Process

To read the AMC Montessori  Centenary Newsletter in its entirety, please visit


Heidi Anne Spietz
American Montessori Consulting
Celebrating 24 Years of Serving School and Home Educators
Montessori for the 21st Century

One response to “Maria Montessori: Celebrating the Life of an Innovative Educator

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