The number of different objects in the world is infinite, while the qualities they possess are limited. These qualities are therefore like the letters of the alphabet which can make up an indefinite number of words. If we present the children with objects exhibiting each of these qualities separately [and “classified in an orderly way”], this is like giving them an alphabet for their explorations, a key to the doors of knowledge.
The most striking [way in which children respond to external influences] and one that is almost like a magic wand for opening the gate to the normal expression of a child’s natural gifts is activity concentrated on some task that requires movement of the hands guided by the intellect.
When an apostle seeks to win a soul to religion… he appeals to understanding, not to imagination, for he knows that his task is not to create something, but to call aloud to that which is slumbering in the depths of the heart.
The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil, and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.