Education: The First Progressive

The world has almost forgotten Maria Montessori, the founder of progressive education. But she was still alive last week, though far from her native Italy and her world-famed kindergartens. And she was still quite capable of laying down the law. In the shade of a giant banyan tree in the oceanside colony of Adyar, India, she had just laid it down to members of the Indian Theosophical Society. When someone asked her if she had become a theosophist, the self-confident old (77) Dottoressa snapped: "I am a Montessorian."

Shocking. Maria Montessori has never been anything else. As a girl, she shocked Roman...

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