Dr. Maria Montessori was born in 1870 in Italy and dedicated her life to the education of children. She was an original and brilliant educator whose theories are world renowned. She was an Italian physician and educator. She was the first woman to practice medicine in Italy, having graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Rome in 1896. She developed her method of education over 50 years of intense scientific observation and direct work with children of all racial, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Montessori education instills a love of learning in the child that will last throughout their whole life. The most basic principle in Dr. Montessori's method is that the learning capacity of a young mind is great; she calls this: "the absorbent mind". By the age of three, the child has already laid down the foundations of his/her personality as a human being. This is why it is crucial for young children to able to learn by exploration in a "prepared environment" - a Montessori classroom. A Montessori classroom will invite the child through learning materials which will help them develop into confident, capable, competent, and compassionate human beings.