Montessori education is a time-tested, respected and effective education methodology that was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori, the first woman in Italy to become a physician. The hallmark of the Montessori program is the prepared classroom environment. Each classroom is equipped with hands-on materials for children to independently learn at their own pace. Children learn to solve problems, see natural connections in knowledge and learn skills related to practical living to expand their imaginative thinking. Maria Montessori believed that this type of classroom fostered independence and a love of learning for young children.