Montessori's Early Childhood

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On August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy a baby girl was born to Alessandro Montessori and Renilde Stoppani Montessori. They named her Maria. Alessandro and Renilde could not have known the great impact their daughter would have on the world. Alessandro had a military demeanor and a conservative temper. Maria’s mother Renilde was extremely patriotic and well educated. Alessandro worked as a government official with the financial management of a state-run tobacco industry, however this position required several transfers from factory to factory. The Montessoris’ last move was to Rome and occurred when Maria was five. Maria also had another important role model in her life, her uncle Antonio Stoppani who was a scholar-priest, a professor of geology, a well known naturalist, poet and author of many scientific works. Antonio was instrumental in forming Maria’s outlook on life. She wanted to make great achievements instead of filling the traditional role of women. During Maria’s childhood she was always drawn to help someone less fortunate than herself. She was a leader and had a strong sense of self-respect. Maria was also a peacemaker, at one time joining her parents hands together tightly during an argument they were having.

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