Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Birthday Maria Montessori

As I am now working with individuals who are mostly over the age of 60, I went and read a biographical sketch of Maria Montessori's life and noted all that she achieved post-60 years of age. Let me put it in very simple terms - She achieved much in her "senior" years.

Many men and women have and continue to be very productive after the age of sixty. I turned 40 the year I took my Montessori training. I clearly remember that one of the most attractive, professional attributes to becoming a Montessori teacher was that the older you got the more you were valued. I had two AMI trainers. One was in her late seventies.

In four and a half years, I will be sixty.  At sixty six, Maria Montessori, along with Mario, left to work in India.  There is no impending ending to our work as Montessorians. Maria Montessori has left a dual legacy. The first is of course in regards to the child. The second is as a productive individual who saw no limits on what could be achieved in the course of a life time.

Happy 142nd Birthday Maria Montessori!

Maria Montessori
                         August 1870 - May 1952

1936  Maria Montessori, at the age of 66, left Spain and settled in Holland. 
1939  September:  World War II broke out in Europe.
October:  Dr. Montessori aged sixty-nine and her son Mario left Holland to work in India. 
1946  July 30th:  Dr. Montessori returned to Amsterdam. 
1947  Dr. Montessori aged seventy-six, undertook a lecture tour in India which lasted for two years. 
1948  What You Should Know About Your Child and The Discovery of the Child were published.
1949  Dr. Montessori visited Pakistan, Italy, France, Austria, Britain and Ireland.  The Absorbent Mind was published and she was nominated for the Noble Peace Prize. 
1950  At the age of seventy-nine, Dr. Montessori gave lecture tours in Norway and Sweden.
June:  She spoke to the United Nations education conference in Florence, Italy about the 'International year of the Child' and was again nominated for the Noble Peace Prize.
1951  July:  Dr. Montessori ran a training course at Innsbruck, Austria.  For the third and final time Dr. Montessori was nominated for the Noble Peace Prize. 
1952  May 6th:  At the age of eighty-one, Dr. Montessori died in her friends garden at Noordwijk aan Zee in Holland.  She was buried in the local cemetery in Noordwijk. 

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