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Dr Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind)
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870 and graduated as a medical doctor in July 1896. Her initial interest in the needs of children with learning disabilities evolved in 1901 into her own philosophy on teaching. She believed that in order to learn, a child needed to actively participate in their own learning and that this learning continued outside of the classroom. She did not favour external motivations for learning but rather believed that children had a desire to learn because they were naturally curious and loved to have knowledge. She promoted the idea of educators cultivating children’s natural desire to learn by being perceptive to their sensitive periods and carefully preparing the learning environment. She saw the role of the educator as a facilitator.
“… the mistress does nothing more than facilitate and make clear to the child the very active and prolonged work which is reserved for him in choosing objects and employing himself with them.”
Dr Maria Montessori (The Discovery of the Child)