Maria Montessori (b. 1870) was the first female in Italy to earn a medical degree. When working with the urban poor in San Lorenzo, she put together the first “Children’s House,” observing the children and adapting the environment to meet their physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. Due to the success of the first Children’s House in 1907, the philosophy and materials she developed have been replicated around the world. Montessori spent the rest of her life observing children and expanding her method to different age levels.