Maria Montessori was an Italian physician, educator, and innovator, acclaimed for her educational method that builds on the way children naturally learn.
She opened the first Montessori school—the Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House—in Rome on January 6, 1907. Subsequently, she traveled the world and wrote extensively about her approach to education, attracting many devotees. There are now more than 22,000 Montessori schools in at least 110 countries worldwide.
Maria Montessori supported the work of the League of Nations and its successor the United Nations as a forum where peace could be created. Maria Montessori formed the Social Party of the Child in Copenhagen, 1937 and worked tirelessly in support of the Rights of the Child in conjunction with UNESCO.
She saw the hope for peace in the education of children. That foundation is laid in Montessori schools, as children become independent, self-actualized and compassionate community members. They learn to collaborate as active agents of social evolution. The curriculum for peace education like all subjects is determined by the developmental characteristics of the child. Because the elementary student is in a sensitive period for reason, justice and morality, the Model UN Program forms a part of the Science of Peace that Maria Montessori believed was the real answer to war and conflict. Currently, more than 200,000 high school and university students participate annually in the Model United Nations Program.