Maria Montessori was quite a remarkable woman. At age 13 she began formal studies to become an engineer, which was quite unusual for a girl born in Italy in 1870. She became an engineer and then decided to pursue medicine. At 26, despite resistance, she graduated and became a pediatrician. As a pediatrician she worked especially with children with special needs. As a scholar, she continued to develop herself during this time by studying psychology. She combined all her knowledge to develop methods of education that would work for all children. In 1906 she opened her first "children's house", what we would call a school or daycare. This house was designed for low-income families with two working parent's. This practical experience allowed her to refine her techniques which she later published. The great genius of education deeply understood the need of young children as evidenced by the success that kids in Montessori classrooms for the past 100 years have experienced. In fact, many of the more effective "modern" education methods have their roots in the research of Maria Montessori.