Green Apple Issue 4 - Page 12

Emmanuella Emovon

Associate Dean for Europe (UPE) describes one of her 'women in education' heroes

On the shoulders

of giants

This month,  as we  celebrated International Women’s Day, we honour those who have gone  ahead to  pave the way for us to thrive; the ones whose shoulders we stand  on.  While globally  there is still a long way to go in closing the gender equality gap,  we  are  certainly  heading in the right direction. 

One of those giants is the late  Dr Maria  Montessori  -  an inspirational ‘woman in education’  and   founder of the  ground-breaking Montessori  education approach. Dr Montessori  revolutionised early education by putting the students at the centre of  their learning.  

The Montessori approach views the learner as naturally  possessing  the capability and willingness  to  learn and matches the  students’  interests with a stimulating environment that promotes learning.


Dr  Montessori  helped the world understand that every learner is unique and has the potential to be great. Through  years of research, experiment  and  teaching  practice,  she showed the world  it is possible to transform lives through education. 

Against all odds, Dr Montessori was the first woman physician in Italy.  In 1906,  she  founded her first  school  to teach 60  underprivileged  children.

Through scientific observation of these  children,  she developed the Montessori  approach; a flexible, learner-centred approach that gives learners choice  and promotes self-efficacy. 

Dr  Montessori’s  compassion for helping the marginalised unlock their potential, her educational  expertise and entrepreneurialism make her one of my true  ‘women in education’ heroes.