Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Maria Montessori

  • Patrick FriersonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2440-1


Maria Montessori (1870–1952) was an Italian physician and psychiatrist who became the founder of a new “scientific pedagogy” based on careful observation of children and informed by her distinctive approach to evolutionary psychological science.


Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, Italy, in 1870. As a child, she insisted – against the wishes of her father – that she be enrolled (as the only girl) in a school for future engineers. By 1890, she was one of first women enrolled in the medical school at the University of Rome. She quickly rose to the forefront of her medical school class and gained the esteem of Guiseppi Sergi, one of the leading psychologists in Italy at the time. Alongside Sante De Sanctis and Giuseppe Montesano, who both went on to play pivotal roles in Italian experimental psychology, Montessori was one of Sergi’s top students. In 1896, she graduated from the University with a thesis in clinical psychology (supervised by De Sanctis, cf....

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Whitman CollegeWalla WallaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Carey Fitzgerald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South Carolina – BeaufortBlufftonUSA