Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was the first female student who received her PhD from the University of Rome. After graduating Psychiatry, she started her pedagogical work.

In 1897, Montessori took a job as an assistant in the Department of Psychiatry of the University of Rome, where her main task was to take care of children mentally retarded. Moreover, Montessori was an active member of the National League for Education of Mentally Handicapped Children. In the spring of 1890, the League has opened in Rome Institute of Medical and Educational Teacher Training for Care and Education of Mentally Handicapped Children. Maria Montessori was responsible for managing the Institute. Working according to the principles of her method, she achieved better results than other teachers in traditional schools. In 1907, there was opened the first kindergarten Casa Dei Bambini - Children's House and Montessori was head of the institution. Soon, Montessori pedagogy was popularized in the world. In 1929, Associatio Montessori Internationale (International Association of Montessori) was established, which was a central organization coordinating Montessori institutions and societies in the world and educating teachers. Montessori was honoured by getting the title of Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Sorbonne, she received the Cross of the Legion of Honour , and she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her last public engagement was in London in 1951 when she attended the 9th International Montessori Congress. On 6th May 1952, at the holiday home of the Pierson family in the Netherlands, she died in the company of her son, Mario, to whom she bequeathed the legacy of her work.

Maria Montessori developed a great pedagogy through arduous work and faith in the child. In her work, "The Montessori Method", she describes the conclusions from her observations. Maria Montessori had a huge impact on teaching young children.