April 22, 1929
|February 25, 2012(aged 82)
|Jose Luis Matute
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Renilde Montessori (1929 – 2012) was the youngest offspring of Mario Montessori and Helen Christy. While Renilde initially sought a career path divergent from the Montessori pedagogical world, her trajectory altered in 1968 when she began assisting her father.
Professional Journey and Montessori Education Contributions
In 1971, Renilde accomplished a Montessori course at the Washington Montessori Institute, with Betty Stephenson as the director at the time. Subsequently, she ventured into delivering lectures and established a Montessori training institution in Toronto, Canada, which she herself managed.
Renilde moved back to Amsterdam in 1995, making her residence in the Koninginneweg house, where she had previously lived with her father and Ada in 1947. This apartment then became the home of the General Secretary of the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). In 2000, Renilde undertook the presidency of the AMI, holding the role until 2005 when she retired and relocated back to Catalonia.
Projects and Initiatives
Throughout her time in Amsterdam, Renilde pioneered several initiatives. One of her significant contributions was launching the AMI's website, a move made when the concept was still relatively unknown to many. Another ambitious project she championed was the "blueprints" project which aimed to create detailed drawings of all Montessori materials.
With a deep understanding of the value of extending Montessori philosophies beyond the confines of the classroom, Renilde founded "Éducateurs sans Frontières". This initiative hosts meetings for Montessorians to reevaluate educational methodologies and practices from a wider societal viewpoint. Her insights on this topic culminated in a book, published in French (2000) and English (2005).
One of Renilde's major undertakings was the extensive organization of the AMI archive, an invaluable study resource for the Montessori community. Even though the endeavor took longer than expected, it was instrumental in contributing to the Montessori pedagogical archive.
Legacy and Family
Renilde's global advocacy for Montessori education and her multilingual fluency, including English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and Italian, significantly bolstered her work. Her son, Saulo, continues to be intimately involved with the AMI, having been a longstanding board member and currently part of the board overseeing the MM 75 Fund. This fund, established to honor her father's 75th birthday, offers interest-free loans to Montessorians who aspire to become Montessori teacher trainers.
Renilde Montessori (1929 – 2012) was the youngest child of Mario Montessori and Helen Christy. Although she initially pursued a career outside of the Montessori world, her path shifted in 1968 when she became an assistant to her father.