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Maria Montessori lived from 1870 to 1952. She was the first woman to attend medical school in Italy and the first female Doctor of Medicine there. Through her work with handicapped and socially deprived children, she developed her unique educational method known as the Montessori method. As a result of her further study, observation and experimentation, she found the principles of her method to be applicable to all children. She has had an impact on the field of education in general and the way we understand and teach children today.
Montessori's influence can be seen not only in the number of schools that bear her name, but throughout the fields of child care, education and child development. Many of her ideas are now part of our common knowledge, language and thinking about children. She was an innovator in the field of education and ideas that were once met with great resistance in her day now seem natural as accepted aspects of childhood.