Maria Montessori

Maria
Montessori
1870
1952

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

Author Quotes

Times have changed, and science has made great progress, and so has our work; but our principles have only been confirmed, and along with them our conviction that mankind can hope for a solution to its problems, among which the most urgent are those of peace and unity, only by turning its attention and energies to the discovery of the child and to the development of the great potentialities of the human personality in the course of its formation.

We are here to offer to this life, which came into the world by itself, the means necessary for its development, and having done that we must await this development with respect.

We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.

To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator.

We are not here to teach the child, we are here only to assist the child in learning.

We must learn how to call upon the man which lies dormant in the soul of a child.

To assist a child we must provide him with an environment, which will enable him to develop freely.

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.

We must make of the future generation, powerful men, and by that we mean men who are independent and free.

To collect one's forces, even when they seem to be scattered, and when one's aim is only dimly perceived - this is a great action and will sooner or later bring forth fruit.

We cannot know the consequences of suffocating a spontaneous action at the time when the child is just becoming active; perhaps we suffocate life itself.

We must not dwell on his limitations but focus on his possibilities.

To do well, it is necessary to aim at giving the elementary age child an idea of all fields of study, not in precise detail, but on impression. The idea is to sow the seeds of knowledge at this age, when a sort of sensitive period for the imagination exists.

We cannot make a genius; we can only give each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities to become an independent, secure, and balanced human being.

We must support as much as possible the child's desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent.

To give a child liberty is not to abandon him to himself.

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 must take into consideration that from birth the child has a power in him. We must not just see the child, but God in him. We must respect the laws of creation in him.

To give the whole of modern culture has become an impossibility and so a need arises for a special method, whereby all factors of culture may be introduced to the six-year-old; not in a syllabus to be imposed on him, or with exactitude of detail, but in the broadcasting of the maximum number of seeds of interest. These will be held lightly in the mind, but will be capable of later germination, as the will becomes more directive, and thus he may become an individual suited to these expansive times.

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry.

We must therefore turn to the child as to the key to the fate of our future life.

To have a vision of the cosmic plan, in which every form of life depends on directed movements which have effects beyond their conscious aim, is to understand the child's work and be able to guide it better.

We found individual activity is the one factor that stimulates and produces development.

We ourselves have lost this deep and vital sensitiveness, and in the presence of children in whom we see it reviving, we feel as if we were watching a mystery being unfolded. It shows itself in the delicate act of free choice, which a teacher untrained in observation can trample on before she even discerns it, much as an elephant tramples the budding flower about to blossom in its path.

To keep alive enthusiasm is the secret of real guidance, and it will not prove a difficult task, provided that the attitude towards the child's acts be that of respect, calm, and waiting, and provided that he be left free in his movements and experiences.

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