Maria Montessori Photo

Some Facts About Maria Montessori That You May Not Be Aware Of

If Maria Montessori was alive today, she would be 146 years old!

  •  Maria Montessori was born in the small town of Chiaravalle, Italy in August of 1870.
  • Maria’s father, Alessandro Montessori, was a traditional man. He was a retired army officer and worked as a civil servant.
  • Maria’s mother, Renide Stoppani, was a modern, educated and well-read woman from a wealthy family. She taught Maria to knit at an early age and gave her a task of knitting everyday for the poor. This taught little Maria compassion at a very young age.
  • At the age of five, her family moved to Rome so that Maria can have better education.
  • Maria was an average student in class but did very well in exams. She actually found school very boring – but she learned irrespective.
  • Although, women were not encouraged to study beyond their primary schooling and her father tried to discourage her from studying further, Maria’s mother supported her and allowed her to continue her studies.
  • Maria attended an all-boy’s technical school at the age of 13. She studied mathematics and engineering. Eventually, Maria decided this wasn’t what she wanted. She developed a passion in biology and was determined to study medicine. This was a courageous decision considering that the society was not supportive towards women’s education.
  • Maria was always pushing the boundaries set by society. She was rejected from medical school for not knowing enough classical languages. So she studied languages for two years and re-applied and persisted. Finally, she was granted admission into medical school.
  • As the only woman, she faced many challenges at the medical school. Her peers disrespected her but she persisted her studies and became the first woman doctor in Italy.
  • Maria had a major influence on the women’s movement in Italy. She considered herself a ‘new woman’, taught and educated people about the concept of a ‘new woman’ and motivated women to fight for their rights in all areas.


To this day, Maria Montessori’s birthday is celebrated in Italy on a very grand scale. She is highly respected as she changed the way society thinks about women and has paved the way for women’s education in the country.


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