Maria Montessori

Maria
Montessori
1870
1952

Italian Educator, Physician and Humanitarian, Creator of the Montessori Method

Author Quotes

When the independent life of the child is not recognized with its own characteristics and its own ends, when the adult man interprets these characteristics and ends, which are different from his, as being errors in the child which he must make speed to correct, there arises between the strong and the weak a struggle which is fatal to mankind.

When the teacher shall have touched, in this way, soul for soul, each one of her pupils, a sign, a single word from her shall suffice; for each one will feel her in a living and vital way, will recognize her and will listen to her.

When these exercises have been presented to the children, in the manner indicated... the directress should, after a while, wherever possible, introduce into the action what Montessori calls a 'motive of perfection'.

Whenever we touch the child, we touch love. It is a difficult love to define; we all feel it, but no one can describe its roots, or evaluate the immense consequences which flow from it, or gather up its potency for union between men. Despite our differences of race, religion, and of social position, we have felt, during our discussions of the child, a fraternal union growing up between us... Love, like that which we feel for the child, must exist potentially between man and man, because human unity does exist and there is no unity without love.

While everyone was admiring the progress of my idiots, I was searching for the reasons which could keep the happy healthy children of the common schools on so low a plane that they could be equalled in tests of intelligence by my unfortunate pupils!

Who does not know that to teach a child to feed himself, to wash and dress himself, is a much more tedious and difficult work, calling for infinitely greater patience, than feeding, washing and dressing the child one's self ? But the former is the work of an educator, the latter is the easy and inferior work of a servant. Not only is it easier for the mother, but it is very dangerous for the child, since it closes the way and puts obstacles in the path of the life which is developing.

Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future.

Within the child lies the fate of the future. Whoever wishes to confer some benefit on society must preserve him from deviations and observe his natural ways of acting. A child is mysterious and powerful and contains within himself the secret of human nature.

Work is necessary; it can be nothing less than a passion; a person is happy in accomplishment.

Work not only identifies one as an individual, but it also unites him with society, which is bound together by men's labor.

Writing is a key to a double gain. It enables the hand to master a vital skill like that of speaking and to create a second means of communication that reflects the spoken word in all its details. Writing is thus dependent upon mind and hand.

Yet a third interesting fact to be observed in the child of six is his need to associate himself with others, not merely for the sake of company, but in some sort of organized activity. He likes to mix with others in a group wherein each has a different status. A leader is chosen, and is obeyed, and a strong group is formed. This is a natural tendency, through which mankind becomes organized.

Young people must have enough freedom to allow them to act on individual initiative. But in order that individual action should be free and useful at the same time it must be restricted with certain limits and rules that give the necessary guidance.??

When mental development is under discussion, there are many who say, 'How does movement come into it? We are talking about the mind.' And when we think of intellectual activity, we always imagine people sitting still, motionless. But 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.

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.

When the cycle is completed, the child detaches himself from his internal concentration; refreshed and satisfied, he experiences the higher social impulses, such as desiring to make confidences and to hold intimate communion with other souls.

We then become witnesses to the development of the human soul; the emergence of the New Man, who will no longer be the victim of events but, thanks to his clarity of vision, will become able to direct and to mold the future of mankind.

We then found that individual activity is the one factor that stimulates and produces development, and that this is not more true for the little ones of preschool age than it is for the junior, middle, and upper school children.

What is generally meant by the word peace is the cessation of war. But this negative concept is not an adequate description of genuine peace.

What is the greatest sign of success for a teacher transformed? It is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

What matters is not physics, or botany, or the works of the hand, but the will and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves through work.

What the child achieves between three and six does not depend upon doctrine but on a divine directive which guides his spirit to construction.

What we need is a world full of miracles, like the miracle of seeing the young child seeking work and independence, and manifesting a wealth of enthusiasm and love.

When children experience pleasure not only from an activity leading towards a special goal but also in carrying it out exactly in all its details, they open up a whole new area of education for themselves.

When dealing with children there is greater need for observing than of probing

Author Picture
First Name
Maria
Last Name
Montessori
Birth Date
1870
Death Date
1952
Bio

Italian Educator, Physician and Humanitarian, Creator of the Montessori Method