Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and teacher that is known internationally for her teaching methods that have been adopted by an estimated 20,000 schools worldwide. She is being recognized by 'Google Doodle' on the Google homepage on the 142nd anniversary of her birth.
She was the first woman to graduate from Rome's University of La Sapienza with a degree in medicine. She went on to work in pediatrics and in psychiatry, eventually become a leading expert in children's medicine.
She also began to work with mentally disabled children and would speak out on the role of society to take care of juvenile delinquency at a time when many children in Italy were not attending school.
She eventually created her own school based on her methods that are still used today. They included mixed age classrooms, a hands on learning model, and liberty for children to be able to study what interested them.
Montessori died of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1952 at the age of 81. However, her memory lives on in classrooms around the world as children are are still taught with the methods that she created over a century ago.