The Montessori approach to education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, who, after graduating from the University of Rome Medical School, became interested in education as a physician treating special needs children. In 1907, she began her work with mainstream children when she was invited to a school in a reconstructed slum area of Rome. She developed her method because she was distressed with the usual rigid teaching techniques used in Europe at that time, and noted how many children were blocked in their learning efforts by these traditional methods. Feeling that young children have a potential for self-learning, she began to develop this potential with a sensorial approach, teaching the young child through his natural interest in exploring with his senses. With keen observation, Dr. Montessori followed the interests of the child, and by 1909 the surprising development of this Our Classrooms was known around the world.