Montessori Essay

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As it is well known, Dr. Maria Montessori was one of the most influential pioneers in Early Childhood Education this century. Her ideas have become known and recognized worldwide and have greatly influenced education. Her name today is associated with an educational method that encourages a love of learning for its own sake. Despite the fact that Maria Montessori is one of the most important educational reformer of the twentieth century, she has been herself greatly influenced by a number of significant figures like Johann Pestalozzi, Friedrich Frobel, Edouard Seguin but Jean Itard was one of those by whom Maria Montessori was mostly influenced and deeply impressed about his work as well as his scientific approach to learning. Jean Marc Gaspard Itard was born on April 24, 1774, in Oraison, France, and grew up with his uncle. He received his education in Riez and Marseilles and started work in banking, but the job turned out to be too boring for Itard, and he returned to Riez. When the French Revolution began, Itard was called to join the army. He presented himself as a physician, whereupon he became employed as an assistant physician at a military hospital in Soliers. His brilliance and personality helped him to quickly acquire basic knowledge of the medical profession. After returning to Paris in 1796, Itard started a formal surgical internship. In 1800 he was appointed Chief Physician at the National Institution for Deaf-Mutes in Paris. There he became interested in the process of hearing and study of the ear and its diseases. In the early 1800s Itard became involved with a wild child, known as "The Wild Boy of Aveyron," work which would bring him international fame. Itard spent five years trying to teach the boy, later named "Victor," to read, write, and talk. Itard published two works on this case, in 1802 and 1806. Victor slightly improved, but never

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