Quotes by Maria Montessori
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Maria Montessori. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Maria Montessori
Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori ( MON-tiss-OR-ee, Italian: [maˈriːa montesˈsɔːri]; August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated with honors in 1896. Her educational method is in use today in many public and private schools globally.
Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.
Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.
The greatest sign of success for a teacher ... is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'
The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.
Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.
It is not in human nature for all men to tread the same path of development, as animals do of a single species.
The environment acts more strongly upon the individual life the less fixed and strong this individual life may be.
Dependence is not patriotism. A man does not love his mother if he hangs about her to the point of burdening her with a weak, feckless son.
A great deal of time and intellectual force are lost in the world, because the false seems great and the truth so small and insignificant.
The prize and punishments are incentives toward unnatural or forced effort, and, therefore we certainly cannot speak of the natural development of the child in connection with them.
If we really want children to grow into independent and resourceful adults, we should stop pouring their milk as soon as they have learned to pour it themselves and stop fastening their buttons as soon as they can fasten them without help.
We weep in front of the dead and we aspire towards saving humanity from destruction, but it is not the salvation from dangers, it is the elevation that is the destiny of everyone of us which should stand before our mind's eye. It is not death, but the lost paradise that should afflict us.
There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life.
We must, therefore, quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction.
A teacher, therefore, who would think that he could prepare himself for his mission through study alone would be mistaken. The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task.
Great tact and delicacy is necessary for the care of the mind of a child from three to six years, and an adult can have very little of it.
If children are allowed free development and given occupation to correspond with their unfolding minds their natural goodness will shine forth.
When a child is given a little leeway, he will at once shout, I want to do it! But in our schools, which have an environment adapted to children's needs, they say, Help me to do it alone. And these words reveal their inner needs.
There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.
If I am going up a ladder, and a dog begins to bite at my ankles, I can do one of two things -- either turn round and kick out at the it, or simply go on up the ladder. I prefer to go up the ladder!
The adult ought never to mold the child after himself, but should leave him alone and work always from the deepest comprehension of the child himself.
When we want to infuse new ideas,
to modify or better the habits and customs of a people,
to breathe new vigor into its national traits,
we must use the children as our vehicle; for little can be accomplished with adults.
Happiness is not the whole aim of education. A man must be independent in his powers and character; able to work and assert his mastery over all that depends on him.
It is in the encounter of the maternal guiding instincts with the sensitive periods of the newly born that conscious love develops between parent and child.
Only when the child is able to identify its own center with the center of the universe does education really begin.
Culture and education have no bounds or limits; now man is in a phase in which he must decide for himself how far he can proceed in the culture that belongs to the whole of humanity.
When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.
Sometimes very small children in a proper environment develop a skill and exactness in their work that can only surprise us.
A child starts from nothing and advances alone. It is the child's reason about which the sensitive periods revolve. The reason provides the initial force and energy, and a child absorbs his first images to assist the reason and act on it.
But if for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation.
The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.
If we can, when we have established individual discipline, arrange the children, sending each one to his own place, in order, trying to make them understand the idea that thus placed they look well, and that it is a good thing to be placed in order.
The observation of the way in which the children pass from the first disordered movements to those which are spontaneous and ordered -- this is the book of the teacher; this is the book which must inspire her actions.
The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil.
The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.
It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.
The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.
The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.
Adults have not understood children or adolescents and they are, as a consequence, in continual conflict with them.
The child, in fact, once he feels sure of himself, will no longer seek the approval of authority after every step.
Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.
The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.
Education should no longer be most imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.
What advice can we give to new mothers? Their children need to work at an interesting occupation: they should not be helped unnecessarily, nor interrupted, once they have begun to do something intelligent.
Education today, in this particular social period, is assuming truly unlimited importance. And the increased emphasis on its practical value can be summed up in one sentence: education is the best weapon for peace.
How often is the soul of man -- especially in childhood -- deprived because he is not allowed to come in contact with nature.
The principal agent is the object itself and not the instruction given by the teacher. It is the child who uses the objects; it is the child who is active, and not the teacher.
We do not believe in the educative power of words and commands alone, but seek cautiously, and almost without the child's knowing it, to guide his natural activity.
Rewards and punishments, to speak frankly, are the desk of the soul, that is, a means of enslaving a child's spirit, and better suited to provoke than to prevent deformities.
He who experiments must, while doing so, divest himself of every preconception. It is clear then that if we wish to make use of a method of experimental psychology, the first thing necessary is to renounce all former creeds and to proceed by means of the method in the search for truth.
The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.
By the age of three, the child has already laid down the foundations of his personality as a human being, and only then does he need the help of special scholastic influences. So great are the conquests he has made that one may well say: the child who goes to school at three is already a little man.
An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery.
An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.
An educational method that shall have liberty as its basis must intervene to help the child to a conquest of liberty. That is to say, his training must be such as shall help him to diminish as much as possible the social bonds which limit his activity.
There should be music in the child's environment, just as there does exist in the child's environment spoken speech. In the social environment the child should be considered and music should be provided.
Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it. It is vital that educational theory and practice should be informed by that idea.
The teacher's task is not a small easy one! She has to prepare a huge amount of knowledge to satisfy the child's mental hunger. She is not like the ordinary teacher, limited by a syllabus. The needs of the child are clearly more difficult to answer.
The concept of an education centered upon the care of the living being alters all previous ideas. Resting no longer on a curriculum, or a timetable, education must conform to the facts of human life.
Conventions which camouflage a man's true feelings are a spiritual lie which help him adapt himself to the organized deviations of society.
Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.
Learning to speak, therefore, and the power it brings of intelligent converse with others, is a most impressive further step along the path of independence ... Learning to walk is especially significant, not only because it is supremely complex, but because it is done in the first year of life.
To stimulate life, leaving it then free to develop, to unfold, herein lies the first task of the teacher.
Deceit is a kind of garment that conceals the soul. It might even be compared to a whole wardrobe, so many are its guises.
The greatest step forward in human evolution was made when society began to help the weak and the poor, instead of oppressing and despising them.
The first duty of the educator, whether he is involved with the newborn infant or the older child, is to recognize the human personality of the young being and respect it.
It is not the child as a physical but as a psychic being that can provide a strong impetus to the betterment of mankind. It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization.
If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man's future.
The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.
We cannot create observers by saying 'observe,' but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses.
Knowing what we must do is neither fundamental nor difficult, but to comprehend which presumptions and vain prejudices we must rid ourselves of in order to be able to educate our children is most difficult.
If a child finds no stimuli for the activities which would contribute to his development, he is attracted simply to 'things' and desires to posses them.
Movement, or physical activity, is thus an essential factor in intellectual growth, which depends upon the impressions received from outside. Through movement we come in contact with external reality, and it is through these contacts that we eventually acquire even abstract ideas.
There is in every child a painstaking teacher so skillful that he obtains identical results in all children in all parts of the world. The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one teaches them anything.
No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.
No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child ... No slave was ever so much the property of his master as the child is of his parent ... Never were the rights of man ever so disregarded as in the case of the child.
In the psychological realm of relationship between teacher and child, the teacher's part and its techniques are analogous to those of the valet; they are to serve, and to serve well: to serve the spirit.
If education recognizes the intrinsic value of the child's personality and provides an environment suited to spiritual growth, we have the revelation of an entirely new child whose astonishing characteristics can eventually contribute to the betterment of the world.
The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.
We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.
Under the urge of nature and according to the laws of development, though not understood by the adult, the child is obliged to be serious about two fundamental things ... the first is the love of activity... The second fundamental thing is independence.
My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding from secondary school to University but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity and effort of will.
Discipline must come through liberty.
Discipline must come through liberty... We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.
To let the child do as he likes, when he has not yet developed any powers of control, is to betray the idea of freedom.
The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.
The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth. From this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a strange conclusion: that education must start from birth.
To confer the gift of drawing, we must create an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, a soul that feels; and in this task, the whole life must cooperate. In this sense, life itself is the only preparation for drawing. Once we have lived, the inner spark of vision does the rest.
It is by developing the individual that he is prepared for that wonderful manifestation of the human intelligence, which drawing constitutes. The ability to see reality in form, in color, in proportion, to be master of the movements of one's own hand -- that is what is necessary.
When the child begins to think and to make use of the written language to express his rudimentary thinking, he is ready for elementary work; and this fitness is a question not of age or other incidental circumstance but of mental maturity.
The ancient superficial idea of the uniform and progressive growth of the human personality has remained unaltered, and the erroneous belief has persisted that it is the duty of the adult to fashion the child according to the pattern required by society.
All work is noble; the only ignoble thing is to live without working. There is need to realize the value of work in all its forms whether manual or intellectual, to be called 'mate,' to have sympathetic understanding of all forms of activity.
We all know the sense of comfort of which we are conscious when a good half of the floor space in a room is unencumbered; this seems to offer us the agreeable possibility of moving about freely.
Man is capable of every great heroism; it was man who found a means of conquering the formidable obstacles of his environment, establishing himself lord of the earth, and laying the foundations of civilization.
The selfsame procedure which zoology, a branch of the natural sciences, applies to the study of animals, anthropology must apply to the study of man; and by doing so, it enrolls itself as a science in the field of nature.
Indeed there are powers in the small child that are far greater than is generally realized, because it is in this period that the construction, the building-up, of man takes place, for at birth, psychically speaking, there is nothing at all -- zero!
The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature.
Noble ideas, great sentiments have always existed and have always been transmitted, but wars have never ceased.
Books are mute as far as sound is concerned. It follows that reading aloud is a combination of two distinct operations, of two 'languages.' It is something far more complex than speaking and reading taken separately by themselves.
It would be so simple to allow children, when tired of sitting, to rise, and when tired of writing, to desist, and then their bones would not be twisted.
It is surprising to notice that even from the earliest age, man finds the greatest satisfaction in feeling independent. The exalting feeling of being sufficient to oneself comes as a revelation.
The hand is, in the highest degree, a human characteristic. It is man's organ of grasp and of the sense of touch, while in animals these two functions are relegated to the mouth.
The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work, and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence. Suddenly, the child becomes very sensitive to the rudeness and humiliations which he had previously suffered with patient indifference.
If education is protection to life, you will realize that it is necessary that education accompany life during its whole course.
How can any one paint who cannot grade colors? How can any one write poetry who has not learnt to hear and see?
The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.
The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity, as often happens in old-time discipline ... A room in which all the children move about usefully, intelligently, and voluntarily, without committing any rough or rude act, would seem to me a classroom very well disciplined indeed.
The person who is developing freely and naturally arrives at a spiritual equilibrium in which he is master of his actions, just as one who has acquired physical poise can move freely.
It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method... I have studied the child; I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.
If the whole of mankind is to be united into one brotherhood, all obstacles must be removed so that men, all over the surface of the globe, should be as children playing in a garden.
Joy, feeling one's own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.
The respect and protection of woman and of maternity should be raised to the position of an inalienable social duty and should become one of the principles of human morality.
The purpose of life is to obey the hidden command which ensures harmony among all and creates an ever better world. We are not created only to enjoy the world, we are created in order to evolve the cosmos.
At three years of age, the child has already laid the foundations of the human personality and needs the special help of education in the school. The acquisitions he has made are such that we can say the child who enters school at three is an old man.
When you have solved the problem of controlling the attention of the child, you have solved the entire problem of its education.
We await the successsive births in the soul of the child. We give all possible material, that nothing may lack to the groping soul, and then we watch for the perfect faculty to come, safeguarding the child from interruption so that it may carry its efforts through.
The possibility of observing the developments of the psychical life of the child as natural phenomena and experimental reactions transforms the school itself in action into a kind of scientific laboratory for the psychogenetic study of man.
We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.
We discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.
The consciousness of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence, almost religious dignity.
If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.
Observation, very general and wide-spread, has shown that small children are endowed with a special psychic nature. This shows us a new way of imparting education!
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