Pioneer educator of children with disabilities
Maria Montessori, after becoming the first Italian woman to earn a degree of doctor of medicine in 1896, became interested in education for special needs children while stationed at the University of Rome’s psychiatric clinic. Montessori (1870-1952) believed the focus in working with children who have intellectual disabilities should be educational, not medical. Eventually, the Italian government began an institution to train teachers for this very purpose. After opening numerous schools based on her teachings, Montessori was eventually nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950 and 1951.
Source: Museum of disABILITY History; www.museumofdisability.org