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About Maria Montessori

Find out how you can get involved in the LMI community.

Longmeadow Montessori Internationale 777 Longmeadow Street

Longmeadow, MA 01106


School Office: (413) 567-1820
Business Office: (413) 567-1880 

How did it begin?

Dr. Maria Montessori, the creator of what is called “the Montessori Method of education,” based this approach on her scientific observations of young children’s behavior. As one of the first female physicians to graduate from the University of Rome, Montessori became involved with education as a doctor treating children labeled as mentally handicapped. Then, in 1907, she was invited to open a child-care center for the children of desperately poor families in the San Lorenzo slums of Rome.

She called it “Casa dei Bambini” (Children’s House) and based the program on her observations that young children learn best in a homelike setting, filled with developmentally appropriate materials that provide experiences contributing to the growth of self-motivated, independent learners.

Montessori’s dynamic theories included such innovative premises as:

  1. Children are to be respected as different from adults and as individuals who are different from one another.

  2. Children create themselves through purposeful activity.
  3. The most important years for learning are from birth to age 6.
  4. Children possess unusual sensitivity and mental cognitive abilities for absorbing and learning from their environment, which includes people, as well as materials.

She carried her message throughout the world, including the United States, as early as 1912. An enthusiastic first response in the U.S. resulted in a reintroduction of the approach in the mid-1950’s and was followed by the organization of the American Montessori Society in 1960. Longmeadow Montessori is a member of the American Montessori Society.

“Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants – doing nothing but living and walking about – came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: would you not think I was romancing? Well, this is a reality. It is the child’s way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.”

                                         - Maria Montessori