Timeline of Maria Montessori's

Life & Work of Dr Maria Montessori



Maria Montessori born in Chiaravalle, Ancona, Italy.

Maria Montessori born on August 31 in Chiaravalle, Ancona province, Italy.

Attends a boys’ school in Rome, with a science/engineering emphasis.

1883 - 1890

Technical School

Maria first desires become an engineer and convinces her father to allow her to go to Technical School. During this time period it was almost unheard of for a woman to continue her education past elementary especially in the sciences. Yet not only does she gain a certificate in Physics-Mathematics, she decides it isn't enough.

1892 - 1896

Medical School

Becomes one of the first women to obtain a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Rome.

Represents Italy at the International Women’s Congress in Berlin; delivers address on rights of working women, including equal pay for equal work.

Studies the writings of French doctors Itard and Séguin, who worked with disabled children.

1897 - 1899

Work with Disabled Children

Audits courses in pedagogy at the University of Rome; reads all major works in educational philosophy over the past 200 years.

Attends women’s congress in London; received by Queen Victoria.

Lectureship in hygiene and anthropology at the teacher training college for women in Rome.

1901 - 1906

Educational Research

Appointed director of the Orthophrenic School, a model school for training teachers of children with developmental disabilities.

Begins a second degree—in education, experimental psychology, and anthropology—at the University of Rome. Visits elementary schools to do anthropological research.


Maria gives birth to Mario Montessori

Maria falls in love with the co-director of the Orthophrenic School and they have a son. However, the two do not marry for career and family reasons. Adding insult to injury, Maria's lover marries another woman and heartbroken Maria leaves her school to go back to University for teaching.

1907- 1909

The First Children's House Opens

First Children’s House (Casa dei Bambini) is opened at 53 Via dei Marsi in the San Lorenzo district of Rome on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6.The Children’s House on Via Solari in Milan, run by Anna Maria Maccheroni, is opened.

Gives the first training course in her method to about 100 students in Città di Castello. There, she writes, in the space of a month, her first book, Il Metodo della Pedagogia Scientifica applicato all’educazione infantile nelle Case dei Bambini.The English edition is titled The Montessori Method.


"The Montessori Method" is published

Two parallel teacher training courses are held in the Franciscan convent on Via Giusti in Rome, where there is a model Children’s House.

Resigns her teaching post at the University of Rome and gives up her private medical practice to concentrate entirely on education.

The English version of Il Metodo appears in the U.S. in an edition of 5,000 copies under the title The Montessori Method.

1913 - 1915

Visits to the United States

Runs the First International Training Course in her apartment in Rome. Montessori Educational Association founded in the United States.

1915,Second trip to the United States, accompanied by her son, Mario. Addresses International Kindergarten Union and National Educational Association (NEA). Dr Montessori’s NEA lectures are published in New York: My System of Education

1916 - 1920

Founding of the New Education Fellowship

Model Montessori school and a children’s chapel are set up in Barcelona, as well as a teacher training institute, with the backing of the Catalan government.

Founding of the New Education Fellowship (today known as the World Education Fellowship), of which Maria Montessori is an active member.

1922 - 1924

Mussolini rises to power in Italy

Publication of I bambini viventi nella Chiesa in Naples (English edition The Child in the Church, London 1929), Maria Montessori’s first book on the Catholic liturgy from the child’s point of view.

Montessori’s first visit to the Haus der Kinder in Vienna; start of her collaboration and friendship with Lili Roubiczek (Peller), Lisl Herbatschek (Braun), and others.

Meeting of Montessori with Benito Mussolini (who had come to power in 1922) results in official recognition and widespread establishment of Montessori schools by the Italian government.

1925 - 1929

Association Montessori Internationale(AMI)

Training course in London. Dr Montessori’s son, Mario, takes this course and receives his Montessori Diploma.

The book Das Kind in der Familie, based on lectures she gave in 1923 in Vienna, is published in German. (It will be issued in English as The Child in the Family in 1936.)

1929,A Montessori teacher training centre with a model Montessori school is built in Rome; collaboration between Maria Montessori and the architects.

In conjunction with her son, Mario, founds the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI), with headquarters in Berlin (until 1935; after that in Amsterdam).

1930 - 1931

Mahatma Gandhi Visits Montessori

International Training Course in Rome.

Lectures in Vienna, during which she becomes acquainted with Anna Freud (founder of child psychoanalysis and daughter of Sigmund Freud).

International Training Courses in Rome and England.

International Training Courses in Rome and England.

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement, visits Montessori schools in Rome.

1932 - 1934

Introduce Psico-Aritmética and Psico-Geometría

Second International Montessori Congress in Nice, France. Montessori delivers lecture Peace and Education, published by the International Bureau of Education, Geneva.

1933, The Nazis systematically destroy the Montessori movement in Germany, closing all Montessori schools.

Third International Montessori Congress in Amsterdam.

Training courses in London, Dublin, and Barcelona.

1934, Fourth International Montessori Congress in Rome.

Psico-Aritmética and Psico-Geometría published in Barcelona.

1936 - 1938

First time used in Materials on Cosmic Education

5th International Montessori Congress in Oxford, England; development of further principles of Montessori education for Elementary (Cosmic Education) and for secondary schools.

A training centre with model school is set up in Laren, near Amsterdam (materials on Cosmic Education are used for the first time), and AMI moves its headquarters there.

6th IMC in Copenhagen; the theme is “Educate for Peace.” First published in Italy as Educazione e Pace, 1949. 7th IMC in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1939 - 1946

World War II and stranded in India

God en het Kind (“God and the Child”) and The ‘Erdkinder’ and the Functions of the University: The Reform of Education During and After Adolescence published in the Netherlands.

Italy enters World War II on the side of the Germans. In June, Mario Montessori interned by the British colonial government in India as an enemy alien, and Maria Montessori confined to the compound of the Theosophical Society. Mario is released in August out of the Viceroy’s respect for Maria Montessori and to honor her 70th birthday.

Training courses in Madras, Kodaikanal, Karachi, and Ahmedabad in India, and in Ceylon.

Further develops the Cosmic Education Plan for the Elementary years with Mario’s collaboration.


"The Absorbent Mind" is published

The Absorbent Mind published in India.

One-month training course in Pakistan, assisted by Mario and Albert Joosten.

Definitive return to Europe. Eighth International Montessori Congress in San Remo, Italy.

Publication of her last major work: Formazione dell’uomo (in English, The Formation of Man, Adyar 1955).

1949 - 1951

Noble Peace Prize Nominee

First nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize (again in 1950 and 1951).

Lecture tour of Norway and Sweden.

Speaks at the General Conference of UNESCO in Florence.

International conference in Amsterdam in honour of Maria Montessori’s 80th birthday.

Ninth International Montessori Congress in London.

Last training course run by Maria Montessori held in Innsbruck, Austria.


Maria Montessori dies at 81

Maria Montessori dies May 6 in Noordwijk aan Zee, Netherlands; she is buried at the local Catholic cemetery.

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