Rome is known for many historically significant things: the Coliseum, the aqueducts, the Vatican, the list continues on and on. Unbeknownst to many people, Rome is also home to one of the most successful educational methods in modern history: the Montessori Method.
In the Beginning
The story of Montessori begins in 1907 when Dr. Maria Montessori opened her first school in a poor area of Rome. The school was named Casa dei Bambini and by 1909, the entire country was talking about this amazing new method that turned otherwise forgotten and neglected children into superior pupils: and it wasn’t long before the rest of the world stood up and took notice.
It was not until 1911 that Montessori finally made its way to the shores of the United States. As with most immigrants, it began its journey in New York. As proof of its credibility spread, so did the number of its schools and the enthusiasm of its patrons. In a mere five years, there were more than 100 schools in little more than half the states. Unfortunately, some “top educators” disliked Montessori and convinced both government and citizens alike that it had no place in the United States’ education system and the movement quickly died down.
A Second Chance
It wasn’t until 1953 that Montessori found a new champion in the form of Nancy McCormick Rambusch. Originally a teacher working within the confines of the American education system, McCormick began searching for a better, more effective teaching method. This search took her to a European Montessori conference where she decided to learn the method and bring it back to the United States. This work eventually led to the opening of a new Montessori school in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1960. From there, the movement began anew and swept across the United States for the second time.
At Riverside Montessori, we are proud to be one of the more than 1,300 member schools created by this enlightened view of education.