Quotes

78 Maria Montessori Quotes (About Education, Children, Life…)

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori was an Italian educator and physician. She is known for the philosophy of education that bears her name (Montessori Education System), and her writing on scientific pedagogy.

She was very diligent since her childhood days. At a young age, Montessori broke gender barriers when attended classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. However, she soon shifted her focus and started medical school at the University of Rome and graduated with flying honors.

Time passed and her interest in education made her examine the educational system for children. She then founded the first school to follow her educational system which turned out to be a big breakthrough and was soon adopted in various countries including America, India, and China.

Her method of education is still being used today in many public and private schools alike throughout the world. It became successful because it gave the children the freedom to learn and explore at their own pace. The system also recognized them (the children) as an individual rather than a class.

Due to her invaluable contribution to the education system, she was nominated three times for the ‘Noble Peace Prize.’ Montessori is without a doubt one of the most inspiring people in our history. We have gathered below the top 78 Maria Montessori quotes and sayings that explores her views on life, children, education, and more.

Maria Montessori Quotes About Education

1. “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.”

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

3. “We recommend for the training of teachers not only a considerable artistic education in general but special attention to the art of reading.”

4. “One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.” 

5. “It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method… I have studied the child; I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.”

6. “We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.”

7. “If education is always to be conceived along the same antiquated lines of a mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind?”

8. “The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.”

9. “The possibility of observing the developments of the psychical life of the child as natural phenomena and experimental reactions transforms the school itself in action into a kind of scientific laboratory for the psychogenetic study of man.”

10. “The teacher must derive not only the capacity but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.”

11. “Everyone in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognize what each one of us is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilize such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature but can never transform her.”

12. “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.”

13. “Education is a work of self-organization by which man adapts himself to the conditions of life.”

14. “Early childhood education is the key to the betterment of society.” 

15. “If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.”

16. “Now, what really makes a teacher is love for the human child; for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.”

17. “Moral Education is the source of that spiritual equilibrium on which everything else depends and which may be compared to that physical equilibrium or sense of balance, without which it is impossible to stand upright or to move into any other position.”

18. “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.”

19. “Travel stories teach geography; insect stories lead the child into natural science; and so on. The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading.”

20. “Books are mute as far as sound is concerned. It follows that reading aloud is a combination of two distinct operations, of two ‘languages.’ It is something far more complex than speaking and reading taken separately by themselves.”

21. “If education is a protection to life, you will realize that it is necessary that education accompany life during its whole course.”

Maria Montessori Quotes About Children

1. “If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men.”

2. “The child’s mind is not the type of mind we adults possess. If we call our type of mind the conscious type, that of the child is an unconscious mind. Now an unconscious mind does not mean an inferior mind. An unconscious mind can be full of intelligence. One will find this type of intelligence in every being, and every insect has it.”

3. “I have for many years interested myself in the study of children from three years upwards. Many have urged me to continue my studies on the same lines with older children. But what I have felt to be most vital is the need for more careful and particularized study of the tiny child.”

4. “The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature.”

5. “Indeed there are powers in the small child that are far greater than is generally realized, because it is in this period that the construction, the building-up, of man takes place, for at birth, psychically speaking, there is nothing at all – zero!”

6. “When you have solved the problem of controlling the attention of the child, you have solved the entire problem of its education.”

7. “It would be so simple to allow children, when tired of sitting, to rise, and when tired of writing, to desist, and then their bones would not be twisted.”

8. “At three years of age, the child has already laid the foundations of the human personality and needs the special help of education in the school. The acquisitions he has made are such that we can say the child who enters school at three is an old man.”

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

10. “The child, merely by going on with his life, learns to speak the language belonging to his race. It is like mental chemistry that takes place in the child.”

11. “We await the successive births in the soul of the child. We give all possible material, that nothing may lack to the groping soul, and then we watch for the perfect faculty to come, safeguarding the child from interruption so that it may carry its efforts through.”

12. “The child who concentrates is immensely happy.”

13. “Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world.” 

14. “The child is not an empty being who owes whatever he knows to us who have filled him up with it. No, the child is the builder of man. There is no man existing who has not been formed by the child he once was.”

15. “Observation, very general and widespread, has shown that small children are endowed with a special psychic nature. This shows us a new way of imparting education!”

16. “The chief symptom of adolescence is a state of expectation, a tendency towards creative work, and a need for the strengthening of self-confidence. Suddenly, the child becomes very sensitive to the rudeness and humiliations which he had previously suffered from patient indifference.”

17. “The first idea the child must acquire is that of the difference between good and evil.”

Maria Montessori Quotes About Life

1. “All the movements of our body are not merely those dictated by impulse or weariness; they are the correct expression of what we consider decorous. Without impulses, we could take no part in social life; on the other hand, without inhibitions, we could not correct, direct, and utilize our impulses.”

2. “The adolescent must never be treated as a child, for that is a stage of life that he has surpassed. It is better to treat an adolescent as if he had greater value than he actually shows than as if he had less and let him feel that his merits and self-respect are disregarded.”

3. “With man, the life of the body depends on the life of the spirit.” 

4. “Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.”

5. “The purpose of life is to obey the hidden command which ensures harmony among all and creates an ever better world. We are not created only to enjoy the world, we are created in order to evolve the cosmos.”

6. “If intelligence is the triumph of life, the spoken word is the marvelous means by which this intelligence is manifested.”

7. “To confer the gift of drawing, we must create an eye that sees, a hand that obeys, a soul that feels; and in this task, the whole life must cooperate. In this sense, life itself is the only preparation for drawing. Once we have lived, the inner spark of vision does the rest.”

8. “In the first three years of life, the foundations of physical and also of psychic health are laid. In these years, the child not only increases in size but passes through great transformations. This is the age in which language and movement develop. The child must be safeguarded in order that these activities may develop freely.”

9. “Personal health is related to self-control and to the worship of life in all its natural beauty – self-control bringing with it happiness, renewed youth, and long life.”

Maria Montessori Quotes About Language

1. “The development of language is part of the development of the personality, for words are the natural means of expressing thoughts and establishing an understanding between people.”

2. “Many people must have noticed the intense attention given by children to the conversation of grown-ups when they cannot possibly be understanding a word of what they hear. They are trying to get hold of words, and they often demonstrate this fact by repeating joyously some word which they have been able to grasp.”

3. “Speech is one of the marvels that characterize man, and also one of the most difficult spontaneous creations that have been accomplished by nature.” 

4. “The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood when no one can teach them anything!”

5. “It is the children between five and seven who are the word-lovers. It is they who show a predisposition toward such a study. Their undeveloped minds cannot yet grasp a complete idea with distinctness. They do, however, understand words. And they may be entirely carried away by their ecstatic, their tireless interest in the parts of speech.”

6. “When the child begins to think and to make use of the written language to express his rudimentary thinking, he is ready for elementary work; and this fitness is a question not of age or other incidental circumstance but of mental maturity.”

Maria Montessori Quotes About Parents

1. “The respect and protection of woman and of maternity should be raised to the position of an inalienable social duty and should become one of the principles of human morality.”

2. “The maternal duty of suckling her own children, prescribed to mothers by hygienists, is based on a physiological principle: the mother’s milk nourishes an infant more perfectly than any other.”

3. “The social relations which are the basis of the reproduction of the species are founded upon the continuous union of parents in marriage.” 

4. “Woman was always the custodian of human sentiment, morality, and honor, and in these respects, man always has yielded woman the palm.”

Maria Montessori, More Quotes & Sayings

1. “The man of character is the persistent man, the man who is faithful to his own word, his own convictions, his own affections.”

2. “Through machinery, man can exert tremendous powers almost as fantastic as if he were the hero of a fairy tale. Through machinery, man can travel with an ever-increasing velocity; he can fly through the air and go beneath the surface of the ocean.”

3. “Temptation, if it is not to conquer, must not fall like a bomb against another bomb of instantaneous moral explosions, but against the strong walls of an impregnable fortress strongly built up, stone by stone, beginning at that distant day when the foundations were first laid.”

4. “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of the war.” 

5. “If the whole of mankind is to be united into one brotherhood, all obstacles must be removed so that men, all over the surface of the globe, should be as children playing in a garden.”

6. “The selfsame procedure which zoology, a branch of the natural sciences, applies to the study of animals, anthropology must apply to the study of man; and by doing so, it enrolls itself as a science in the field of nature.”

7. “The ancient superficial idea of the uniform and progressive growth of the human personality has remained unaltered, and the erroneous belief has persisted that it is the duty of the adult to fashion the child according to the pattern required by society.”

8. “The consciousness of knowing how to make oneself useful, how to help mankind in many ways, fills the soul with noble confidence, almost religious dignity.”

9. “We all know the sense of comfort of which we are conscious when a good half of the floor space in a room is unencumbered; this seems to offer us the agreeable possibility of moving about freely.”

10. “There are two ‘faiths’ which can uphold humans: faith in God and faith in oneself. And these two faiths should exist side by side: the first belongs to one’s inner life, the second to one’s life in society.”

11. “It is fortunate, I think, that nature is not bounded by human reason and by laboratory work and experimentation, for by the laws of pure reason and by a microscopic investigation, it might easily have been proved, long before this, that children could not be born.”

12. “The person who is developing freely and naturally arrives at a spiritual equilibrium in which he is master of his actions, just as one who has acquired physical poise can move freely.”

13. “Man is capable of every great heroism; it was a man who found a means of conquering the formidable obstacles of his environment, establishing himself lord of the earth, and laying the foundations of civilization.”

14. “The study of expression ought to form a part of the study of psychology, but it also comes within the province of anthropology because the habitual, life-long expressions of the face determine the wrinkles of old age, which are distinctly an anthropological characteristic.”

15. “All work is noble; the only ignoble thing is to live without working. There is a need to realize the value of work in all its forms whether manual or intellectual, to be called ‘mate,’ to have a sympathetic understanding of all forms of activity.”

16. “The hand is, in the highest degree, a human characteristic. It is man’s organ of grasp and of the sense of touch, while in animals these two functions are relegated to the mouth.”

17. “Noble ideas, great sentiments have always existed and have always been transmitted, but wars have never ceased.”

18. “It is surprising to notice that even from the earliest age, man finds the greatest satisfaction in feeling independent. The exalting feeling of being sufficient to oneself comes as a revelation.”

19. “How can anyone paint who cannot grade colors? How can anyone write poetry who has not learned to hear and see?” 

20. “It is by developing the individual that he is prepared for that wonderful manifestation of the human intelligence, which drawing constitutes. The ability to see reality in form, in color, in proportion, to be master of the movements of one’s own hand – that is what is necessary.”

21. “There can be no ‘graduated exercises in drawing’ leading up to artistic creation. That goal can be attained only through the development of mechanical technique and through the freedom of the spirit.”

If you’d like to know more about her works, we would suggest you read Maria Montessori: Her Life and Work by E. M. Standing.

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