Born 1870 -Died 1952

Italian educator and physician. She won international recognition and acclaim for designing an educational system to aid children in the development of intelligence and independence. Her approach became known as the Montessori Method. Today, Montessori schools exist worldwide.

She was born in Chiaravalle, Italy. She also became the first Italian women to gain a medical degree when she graduated from the University of Rome in 1896. Early in her career she worked with children who were confined to mental asylums. In 1899 she became the codirector of the State Orthophrenic School for underdeveloped children. The educational methods she devised were so successful that her learning disabled students passed reading and writing examinations for "normal" children.

In 1907, she opened her first school where she taught the normal children of underpriviledged families. She then when on a world wide lecturing tour describing her methods of education. She also authored several books on the subject, among them, The Montessori Method (1912) and The Absorbant Mind, 1949.