Maria Montessori was born in the town of Chiaravalle in Italy in 1870. She was the first Italian woman to qualify as a physician. Despite endless prejudices and obstacles, she was the first appointed doctor at the Rome University Psychiatric Clinic. It was here that she became very interested in the study of children’s learning and began to develop a philosophy of education now known as the Montessori Method. As a young woman, she saw the potential that the education of young children could have in changing the nature of society. When she started her first school, Casa dei Bambini, in 1907 the results were so outstanding for both the children involved and their families, that it caused an enormous amount of interest, both in Italy and elsewhere. She was as astonished as everyone else by the childrens’ progress, both socially and intellectually and realized that she had uncovered something extraordinary about their learning abilities. This then became the focus of her life’s work and the Montessori Movement was formed. Her work became internationally renowned and she became famous, not only for her educational work, but her interest in world peace through moral reform. She was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace prize.