Characterizing the Conversation: A Historical Re-view of Maria Montessori's Visits to the United States 1913-1918

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Virginia Tech

This historical re-view of the events and interactions of Maria Montessori's visit to the United States between the years 1913 and 1918 begins by examining Montessori's personal history, with an emphasis on her educational background leading up to her becoming the first female physician in Italy. After discussing her scientific background briefly, the document specifically addresses several of Montessori's educational concepts. Next, this study examines specific nuances of organization, power and intent found in the educational system of the United States at the time of her visits. Particular emphasis is placed on the implications of industrialization, increasing immigration and the response of the educational establishment to these issues. Interactions and events from her visits in the United States follow. Montessori's influences on and experiences with prominent figures in the U.S. at that time are accentuated through the events that highlight her travels. After detailing each visit in the historical context in which it occurred, the piece continues with the author's discussion of how the dissertation applies to teaching history in the foundations. The piece concludes with conceptual suggestions of ways to increase diverse social awareness and encourage community-based responses of pre-service and in-service public school educators.

Social Foundations, Democracy, History, Teacher Education, Maria Montessori