The Montessori system was founded in the late 1800s by Maria Montessori, the first woman medical practitioner in Italy who studied children. Being concerned with the problems and the education of young children, she formulated a "child-centered" approach of teaching, which emphasized structured learning in a prepared environment while preserving the children's freedom and encouraging them to progress at their own pace according to their own interests.
It is this method that teachers at the Montessori Villa in Lodi have embraced in their preschool and full-day kindergarten programs. The campus is one of more than 5,000 Montessori schools across the United States.
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