A new biography by Cristina De Stefano will be presented during the 150 year birthday celebrations in Chiaravalle. All of of the events will be held in the Teatro Valle, the town's historic theatre, inaugurated in 1858. The full program can be downloaded below. The author/journalist collected testimonials and researched unpublished correspondence, and in her book describes a "less well known, and somewhat surprising Maria Montessori." An excerpt from the book:
"At the beginning there is a child. She is trapped in a large classroom with high ceilings. It's 1876 and the public school on San Nicola Tolentino street in Rome is, like all elementary schools in the Italian state, a children's prison. One has to sit still at the desks and listen to the teacher for hours, and then the lesson is repeated back in unison. If you misbehave you are punished. The child is six years old and hates absolutely everything from the very first day."