Italian Educator, Physician and Humanitarian, Creator of the Montessori Method
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.
At particular epochs of their life, [children] reveal an intense and extraordinary interest in certain objects and exercises, which one might look for in vain at a later age… Such attention is not the results of mere curiosity; it is more like a burning passion. A keen emotion first rises from the depths of the unconscious, and sets in motion a marvelous creative activity in contact with the outside world, thus building up consciousness.
It is easy to substitute our will for that of a child by means of suggestion or coercion; but when we have done this we have robbed him of his greatest right, the right to construct his own personality.
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.