With a career that spans some 70 years, Lakshmi Kripalani has been a devoted Montessorian for the better part of Montessori history.
In 1946, as a young teacher in Karachi, India, Lakshmi studied and worked with Maria Montessori herself. In the early 1960s she moved to the U.S., just in time to help shape the nascent American Montessori movement.
During her long and productive Montessori career, Lakshmi has been a teacher, teacher educator, head of school, and international consultant. She established the Montessori Center of New Jersey teacher preparation center in 1966, and has pioneered Montessori schools throughout the world.
Beyond her considerable contributions to the growth of Montessori, Lakshmi stands out as an important chronicler of a remarkable time. As a student of Dr. Montessori, she meticulously recorded and preserved each of her mentor’s lectures. These handwritten notes, along with letters and other historic documents, are now part of the AMS archive at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
As for Lakshmi’s own experiences as a pioneering educator, these are documented in her book, Montessori in Practice: Observations from a First-Generation Montessorian, a collection of articles that first appeared in Public School Montessorian.