Maria Montessori

Maria
Montessori
1870
1952

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

Author Quotes

The secret of success is found to lie in the right use of imagination in awakening interest, and the stimulation of seeds of interest already sown by attractive literary and pictorial material, but all correlated to a central idea, of greatly ennobling inspiration ? the Cosmic Plan in which all, consciously or unconsciously, serve the Great Purpose of Life.

The teacher must take her materials from the school, and her principles from what she has learnt; and then she must face practically, for herself, the question of this recall. Only her own intelligence can solve the problem, which will be different in every individual case.

There are many who hold, as I do, that the most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. For that is the time when man's intelligence itself, his greatest implement, is being formed. But not only his intelligence; the full totality of his psychic powers.

These very children reveal to us the most vital need of their development, saying : 'Help me to do it alone!'

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 needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.

The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge. Our apparatus for educating the senses offers the child a key to guide his explorations of the world.

The teacher of children up to six years of age knows that she has helped mankind in an essential part of its formation. She may know nothing of the children's circumstances, except what they have told her freely in conversation; possibly she takes no interest in their future: whether they will go on to secondary schools and the university, or end their studies sooner; but she is happy in the knowledge that in this formative period they were able to do what they had to do. She will be able to say: 'I have served the spirits of those children, and they have fulfilled their development, and I kept them company in their experiences.'

There can be no substitute for work; neither affection nor physical well-being can replace it.

This art must accompany the scientific method, because the simplicity of our lessons bears a great resemblance to experiments in experimental psychology.

The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.

The next period goes from six to twelve. It is a period of growth unaccompanied by other change. The child is calm and happy. Mentally, he is in a state of health, strength and assured stability.

The shop would also necessitate a genuine study of commerce and exchange, of the art of ascertaining the demand and being ready to meet it, of the strict and rigid rules of bookkeeping. But the thing that is important above everything else is that the adolescent should have a life of activity and variety, and that one occupation should act as a holiday from another occupation. The shop would be in respect to the studies of economics and politics an educational object, similar to the aquarium or terrarium in the case of the study of biology.

The teacher's first duty is to watch over the environment, and this takes precedence over all the rest. Its influence is indirect, but unless it is well done there will be no effective and permanent results of any kind, physical, intellectual or spiritual.

There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.

This is education, understood as a help to life; an education from birth, which feeds a peaceful revolution and unites all in a common aim, attracting them as to a single center. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the little child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide. This is the bright new hope for mankind.

Only when the child is able to identify its own center with the center of the universe does education really begin.

Psychologists interested in adolescent education think of it as a period of so much psychic transformation that it bears comparison with the first period from birth to six. The character is seldom stable at this age; there are signs of indiscipline and rebellion. Physical health is less stable and assured than before.

Such experiences is not just play? It is work he must do in order to grow up.

The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself.

The child passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.

The child's first instinct is to carry out his actions by himself, without anyone helping him, and his first conscious bid for independence is made when he defends himself against those who try to do the action for him.

The essential reform of our plan from this point of view may be defined as follows: during the difficult time of adolescence it is helpful to leave the accustomed environment of the family in the town and go to quiet surroundings in the country, close to nature. Here, an open-air life, individual care, and a non-toxic diet, must be the first considerations in organizing a center for study and work.

Others, as a result of careful study, have come to the conclusion that the first two years are the most important in the whole span of human life.

Psychologists who have studied children's growth from birth to University age maintain that this can be divided into various and distinct periods.

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