First Lady Michelle Obama attends a Cinco de Mayo celebration program at the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Charter School in Washington, D.C. There are about 4,500 Montessori schools in the United States.

Official White House photo by Samantha Appleton

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  • On January 6, 1907, Maria Montessori opened her first school, in Rome, Italy. Today, the “Montessori method” is one of the most well-known and widely used educational approaches in the world.
    The Montessori approach focuses on young children. It emphasizes the importance of children learning at their own pace and discovering their “own path.” Students “are able to reach their own unique potential because they are learning at their own pace and rhythm focusing on their own particular developmental needs at that moment,” according to the International Montessori Association.
    Educators use the Montessori method to help students learn and grow. There are about 20,000 Montessori schools around the world, from Tunisia to Australia, India to Japan.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    emphasize Verb

    to stress or place importance on.

    pace Noun

    rate of movement or progress.

    potential Noun


    rhythm Noun

    musical pattern or beat.

    unique Adjective

    one of a kind.