In 1907 Dr. Maria Montessori, Italy’s first female physician, introduced a revolutionary approach towards the way children are educated. She incorporated her scientific understanding of human development with her passion for mathematics, physics, natural sciences, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. Through years of observation and scientific study, she created a system that looked at the development of the entire child. She believed that all children possess an intellectual and creative potential, an internal desire to learn and the ability to direct themselves in this learning. In carefully prepared classrooms, children are grouped together in three-year age spans where they have the ability to learn the role of following and then leading. Classes are both multi-aged and multi-graded and are based on specific planes of development. Primary or Casa dei Bambini programs are for children ages 3-6; Lower Elementary is for ages 6-9 (Grades 1-3); and Upper Elementary is for ages 9-12 (Grades 4-6).