Today we celebrate 110 years since the opening of the first Casa dei Bambini “Children House” in San Lorenzo Rome on the 6th January 1907.
This day offers Montessorians the chance to reflect and share with others this auspicious beginning, not only of Dr Maria Montessori’s contribution, but of the children who revealed their Secret of Childhood.
In her 1942 speech to commemorate this opening, Dr Montessori explained that something quite unexpected occurred. The children who had come from the slum districts of Rome, and had been very unruly and showed little potential, demonstrated a remarkable change. Montessori said that these children ‘penetrated my heart as a new light’ and revealed that given the right environment, children have a natural desire to work with concentration, to be social and communicative, happy and joyous.
This is the message that Dr Montessori wanted to share with the world that ‘anyone who wants to follow my method must understand that he should not honour me, but follow the child as his leader’.
We wish you all the best for 2017 and thank you for your ongoing work to support children in their natural development. It is a special privilege to be part of an educational movement that spans 110 years, across the globe, and still remains as vital and relevant today as it was at its inception.