She came to believe that with special educational treatment, their condition could be improved. Inspired by this new idea of pedagogy, she devoted herself to the teaching of defective children. Gradually, she began to realise that the methods she was using had nothing in them peculiarly limited to the instruction of the retarded. On the contrary, they contained educational principles more rational than those generally in use. She says, “This feeling, so deep as to be of the nature of an intuition, became my controlling idea. I became convinced that similar methods applied to normal children would develop and set free their personality in a marvellous and superior way.” Thus developed the Montessori Method, the educational system devised by Madame Montessori and which has undergone a process of birth, death and re-birth. In the last few years, innumerable books, magazines and newspaper articles have appeared in many parts of the world, singing the praises of Madame Montessori. As a matter of fsct, a whole ‘Montessori Mystique’ has come into being.
New theories have developed leading to new methods for pre-school education in different parts of the world. However, they are either adaptations of the Montessori Method, or deviations in some respect, yet, rooted somewhere in the Montessori Method. One such scheme operating in U.K. is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
Theory and principles: Montessori was not a theoretician in the true sense. Montessori education is based on an empirical experiment with children in concrete life situations. Madame Montessori was so struck by what she observed that she never felt the need to build up an abstract theoretical system. More important to her were not the theories but the child itself and the revelations of its spontaneous behaviour which touched her so profoundly that she devoted the rest of her life to provide him such conditions