Women Who Inspire: Amanda Ko on Maria Montessori

Women Who Inspire: Amanda Ko on Maria Montessori

For Women’s History Month we’re celebrating all of the women who have inspired us. Today’s installment is from Amanda Ko, who is inspired by Maria Montessori.

Name: Amanda Ko
Title: Senior Scientist
Inspired By: Maria Montessori
Why and How has this person’s experience had an impact on yours?

When I became a first-time mother over 5 years ago, I began researching all things relating to baby/child development and education. It was then that I discovered Maria Montessori, a humanitarian, doctor, and scientist who created a novel education system widely used today. Despite traditional expectations for women in her time, Maria Montessori broke gender barriers: first by attending an all-male technical school, then becoming one of the first women to attend and graduate from medical school in Italy. She utilized the scientific approach with her educational research, eventually developing her child-centered teaching philosophy, Montessori education. She focused on the development of a child’s own initiative and natural abilities, especially through concrete, hands-on learning materials, and practical work.

Maria Montessori was a fierce advocate for women and children’s rights and emphasized peace through education. Though nominated multiple times for a Nobel Peace Prize, she wasn’t awarded one in her time. She has inspired much of my parenting and teaching approaches with my own children, which I believe has helped my kids thrive, both at home and at their Montessori schools.

“Free the child’s potential and you will transform him into the world”- Maria Montessori

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