Google has turned its doodling eye on Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori who would have been 142 years old today with this charming doodle.
As well as being a talented physician and a renowned humanitarian, Maria Montessori’s legacy lives on thanks to her educational method which is still in use today in an estimated 20,000 schools and educational establishments around the world.
Montessori education focuses learning on independence, relative freedom and respect for a child’s natural mental development. Some defining features of Monstessori education include:
- Mixed age classrooms, with classrooms for children aged 2½ or 3 to 9 years old by far the most common
- Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
- Uninterrupted blocks of work time
- A Constructivist or “discovery” model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
- Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators
- In addition, many Montessori schools design their programs with reference to Montessori’s model of human development from her published works, and use pedagogy, lessons, and materials introduced in teacher training derived from courses presented by Montessori during her lifetime.
Happy birthday Maria!