Montessori World Educational Institute
Montessori World Educational Institute
Founding Contributor
Edna Andriano
June 7, 1909 - December 31, 2004
E.M. Standing, author of the book, Maria Montessori, Her Life and Work,  called Edna Andriano, Margaret Homfray, and Phoebe Child,  "The Three Graces."  They met in 1929 at the London Course taught by Maria Montessori.  Edna had already sat through the 1915 course taught by Dr. Montessori in California.  She recalled one moment from the 1915 course when she was sitting with her Mother and baby brother right in front of Dr. Montessori who was sitting at a little table presenting the insets for design.  Dr. Montessori was talking about the proper use of materials.  Edna's baby brother was sitting on his Mother's lap and reached over and picked up the circle frame and started putting his foot through the frame.  Edna's Mother was horrified, but Dr. Montessori interrupted her.  "Why would you take that away from him?  He isn't hurting anything.  He's showing intelligence at work.  He is exploring the nature of a hole."  
Edna's parents were from Italy and Italian was their native language.  So, after the 1929 London Course, Dr. Montessori invited Edna to come to the 1930 course in Rome and serve as translator for the English speaking students.  Phoebe Child and Margaret Homfray decided to join her.  Then, after the 1930 course, Dr. Montessori was offerred a new facility to become the Casa Dei Bambini Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga, and Dr. Montessori asked Edna to the Directress of the school.  Edna lived upstairs in the building and the children would come in to the school in the morning as their parents were on their way to the fields to work. 
Edna remained Directoress of the Casa Dei Bambini until she got word that her Father was dying back home in the US.  She then traveled back home to the Bay Area in California where her Father died a short time later.  Edna then operated a Montessori school on her family's property with her Mother.  Edna's Mother continued working in the school until she died in August of 1970.  Edna continued operating the school until 1978 when she retired.  Over the years she continued to be active in the Montessori community.  She countined to correspond with Dr. Montessori until Dr. Montessori died in 1952.  She then continued to attend Montessori events, and introduce people to Dr. Montessoir's son, Mario,
Edna's Mother, Eugenia Andriano, had purchased a number of materials from Dr. Montessori so she could start a school in 1915. Since Eugenia spoke Italian, she translated Dr. Montessori's talk herself and was also given the translation handed to her from Adelia Pyle.  Adelia Pyle had acted as a stenographer and had actually typed the lectures whilst they were being delivered. 
In 1979, Edna donated a copy of those 1915 lectures to the Montessori World Education Institute.  In addition, she also donated her own translations of Dr. Montessori's 1930 course.  And, she also donated pictures she took of the children in her Casa Dei Bambini in Italy as well as pictures she took during the 1930 course in Rome.  She also donated some of the Montessori materials given to her Mother by Dr. Montessori after the 1915 course.  She also agreed to let Dr. Blodget audio record one of his interviews with her and Margaret Homfray and Phoebe Child.  She provided valuable insights into the work of Dr. Montessori.