Quotations from Dr Maria Montessori

Quotes by Maria Montessori

“The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences.”

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.”

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.”

“It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”

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

“It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to teach child the chance to fulfil his potential possibilities.”

“Little children, from the moment they are weaned, are making their way toward independence.”

“Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed.”

“The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.”

“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.”

“The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”

“Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.”

“Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared for his mission.”

“The child becomes a person through work.”

“To aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.”

“The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.”

“The child, in fact, once he feels sure of himself, will no longer seek the approval of authority after every step.”

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

“The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent of teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens.”

“To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.”

“But an adult if he is to provide proper guidance, must always be calm and act slowly so that the child who is watching him can clearly see his actions in all their particulars.”

“The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.”

“The child can develop fully by means of experience in his environment. We call such experiences ‘work’.”

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

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

“Of all things love is the most potent.”

“The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.”

“The human hand allows the minds to reveal itself.”

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

“The child’s progress does not depend only on his age, but also on being free to look around him.”

“Free choice is one of the highest of all the mental processes.”

“Since it is through movement that the will realises itself, we should assist a child in his attempts to put his will into act.”

“Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.”

“These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’.”

“No adult can bear a child’s burden or grow up in his stead.”

“Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.”

“The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply held impressions he receives.”

“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.”

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

“The prize and punishments are incentives toward unnatural or forced effort, and, therefore we certainly cannot speak of the natural development of the child in connection with them.”

“Character formation cannot be taught. It comes from experience and not from explanation.”

“Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding.”

“He who is served is limited in his independence.”

“The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child’s whole personality.”

“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.”

“Education should no longer be mostly imparting knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentials.”

“All our handling of the child will bear fruit, not only at the moment, but in the adult they are destined to become.”

“The child is an enigma… He has the highest potentialities, but we do not know what he will be.”

“The activity of the child has always been looked upon as an expression of his vitality.”

“The study of love and its utilization will lead us to the source from which it springs, The Child.”

“It is not in human nature for all men to tread the same path of development, as animals do of a single species.”

“Watching a child makes it obvious that the development of his mind comes through his movements.”

“The child’s parents are not his makers but his guardians.”

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

“The unknown energy that can help humanity is that which lies hidden in the child.”

“The child should live in an environment of beauty.”

“It is in the encounter of the maternal guiding instincts with the sensitive periods of the newly born that conscious love develops between parent and child.”