Five Things that Make Maria Montessori a Noteworthy Feminist and Activist


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  1. Maria Montessori became the first, female MD in Italy in 1896. She was initially denied entrance into medical school, but prevailed and was the first woman to enter medical school in Italy.
  2. She was a forerunner in feminist rhetoric, speaking at the International Conference for Women’s Rights in Berlin in 1896. ┬áThere, she detailed her plan for social reforms that would grant women equal pay to men.
  3. In 1933 ┬áMaria Montessori refused ┬áMussolini’s demand to make children in Italian Montessori schools wear fascist uniforms and make the fascist salute. Sadly, all Italian Montessori schools were closed in Italy as a result.
  4. Montessori met Mahatma Gandhi in London in 1931. While living in India during World War II, Montessori and Gandhi corresponded through letters. One of Maria Montessori’s letters to Gandhi is on exhibit at Gandhi’s Ashram in Sevagram.
  5. After the end of World War II, in 1947, Maria Montessori returned to Italy from India. During this year she delivered a speech to UNESCO on the topic of ‘Education and Peace’.

Know any other cool or little known facts about Maria Montessori? Leave a comment and spread the word!

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