Besant Montessori School
It was way back in 1908 that a few poor children living in the slums of Rome opened the eyes of Dr.Maria Montessori to the true nature of childhood. This led her to the service of children. She developed a unique philosophy of education and founded the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI).Dr Montessori became the greatest educationist of the century.
In 1939 George and Rukmini Devi Arundale who were eminent theosophists, educationists and disciples of Dr. Annie Besant, invited Dr. Montessori to come to Adyar to conduct training courses for teachers. These were short intensive courses for only 3 months duration. Our founder Directress, Aunty Tehmina Wadia, attended the very first course and after working for a short spell in the new Era school she was inspired to start the Besant Montessori School.
The aim of the school was to provide the best education (pre primary as well as primary) for the children of suburbs, based on the principles of education according to Theosophical concepts as expounded by Dr. Annie Besant in comfort with the method of teaching as developed by Dr. Montessori.
The school was named after Dr. Montessori because of the method of education followed and after Dr. Annie Besant because it was inaugurated in her centenary year. It was financed by Mrs. Gulistan and Mr. Jehangirji Jussawala and there were two joint Directresses, Ms. Tehmina Wadia and Mrs. Agnus Kotwal who were in charge of the first eleven students. Gulistan remained President of the Governing Body of the school till the end of her life. In the same way Mrs. Gulbano Wadia served the school as the Treasurer. The school was first in the Bombay Presidency and the forth in India and Pakistan to receive the blessing of Dr. Montessori and recognition from the AMI. It was also the first to be affiliated to the Arundale Training Centre for teachers and later on became the member of Besant Education Fellowship in Varanasi.
The school was inaugurated on 6th January 1948 in the Theosophical Colony, Juhu by Dr. Iruch Taraporewalla an eminent scholar an educationist and an associate of both Dr. Annie Besant and Dr. Arundale.