Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

177 Inspiring Quotes by Maria Montessori

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Maria Montessori.

Wikipedia Summary for Maria Montessori

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori ( MON-tiss-OR-ee, Italian: [maˈriːa montesˈsɔːri]; August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. At an early age, Montessori enrolled in classes at an all-boys technical school, with hopes of becoming an engineer. She soon had a change of heart and began medical school at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she graduated with honors in 1896. Her educational method is in use today in many public and private schools globally.

photo of brown wood slab

Discipline must come through liberty.

--Maria Montessori

Longer Version:

Discipline must come through liberty... We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.


man on running field

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

--Maria Montessori



gray cactus plant on white pot

A great deal of time and intellectual force are lost in the world, because the false seems great and the truth so small and insignificant.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

Order is one of the needs of life which, when it is satisfied, produces a real happiness.

--Maria Montessori


woman carrying toddler on seashore

What the hand does the mind remembers.

--Maria Montessori

white and black floral textile

It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.

--Maria Montessori

dome tent with galaxy with stars

Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.

--Maria Montessori

aerial photo of foggy mountains

The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one's self.

--Maria Montessori

green trees beside body of water during daytime

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

--Maria Montessori

high-angle photography of beach side

My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding from secondary school to University but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity and effort of will.

--Maria Montessori


white stars in the sky during night time

The education of even a small child, therefore, does not aim at preparing him for school, but for life.

--Maria Montessori

brown textile in close up image

There should be music in the child's environment, just as there does exist in the child's environment spoken speech. In the social environment the child should be considered and music should be provided.

--Maria Montessori

blue and white abstract painting

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.

--Maria Montessori

forest trees photograph

How can any one paint who cannot grade colors? How can any one write poetry who has not learnt to hear and see?

--Maria Montessori

sunset

Adults have not understood children or adolescents and they are, as a consequence, in continual conflict with them.

--Maria Montessori

green leaf

The teacher, when she begins work in our schools, must have a kind of faith that the child will reveal himself through work.

--Maria Montessori

sunset

The senses, being the explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.

--Maria Montessori

None

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.

--Maria Montessori

None

Mental development must be connected with movement and be dependent on it. It is vital that educational theory and practice should be informed by that idea.

--Maria Montessori

landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

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

--Maria Montessori

None

If children are allowed free development and given occupation to correspond with their unfolding minds their natural goodness will shine forth.

--Maria Montessori

red textile in close up photography

The greatest step forward in human evolution was made when society began to help the weak and the poor, instead of oppressing and despising them.

--Maria Montessori

shallow focus photography of books

The hand is the prehensile organ of the mind.

--Maria Montessori

raging waves through shores

Sometimes very small children in a proper environment develop a skill and exactness in their work that can only surprise us.

--Maria Montessori

None

There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him, and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life.

--Maria Montessori

photography of white sky at golden hour

Happiness is not the whole aim of education. A man must be independent in his powers and character; able to work and assert his mastery over all that depends on him.

--Maria Montessori

glass window pane with yellow concrete wall

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.

--Maria Montessori

None

Knowing what we must do is neither fundamental nor difficult, but to comprehend which presumptions and vain prejudices we must rid ourselves of in order to be able to educate our children is most difficult.

--Maria Montessori


None

Rewards and punishments, to speak frankly, are the desk of the soul, that is, a means of enslaving a child's spirit, and better suited to provoke than to prevent deformities.

--Maria Montessori

toddlers standing outdoors

The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of trees during nighttime

The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.

--Maria Montessori

green leafed vegetable on brown wooden surface

In the psychological realm of relationship between teacher and child, the teacher's part and its techniques are analogous to those of the valet; they are to serve, and to serve well: to serve the spirit.

--Maria Montessori

yellow and white abstract painting

Conventions which camouflage a man's true feelings are a spiritual lie which help him adapt himself to the organized deviations of society.

--Maria Montessori

yellow and black striped background

Observation, very general and wide-spread, has shown that small children are endowed with a special psychic nature. This shows us a new way of imparting education!

--Maria Montessori

blue sky and white clouds

The observation of the way in which the children pass from the first disordered movements to those which are spontaneous and ordered -- this is the book of the teacher; this is the book which must inspire her actions.

--Maria Montessori

two person standing while watching sky

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

--Maria Montessori

Longer Version:

The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth. From this almost mystic affirmation there comes what may seem a strange conclusion: that education must start from birth.


white swan on blue sea during daytime

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.

--Maria Montessori



bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

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

--Maria Montessori

None

The concept of an education centered upon the care of the living being alters all previous ideas. Resting no longer on a curriculum, or a timetable, education must conform to the facts of human life.

--Maria Montessori

green trees beside body of water during daytime

Free the child's potential, and you will transform him into the world.

--Maria Montessori


yellow and white painted wall

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.

--Maria Montessori

yellow and red color textile

The adult ought never to mold the child after himself, but should leave him alone and work always from the deepest comprehension of the child himself.

--Maria Montessori

coconut tree near body of water

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

--Maria Montessori

white Starbuck plastic cup on brown fabric armchair

Education cannot be effective unless it helps a child to open up himself to life.

--Maria Montessori

black and gray floral textile

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

--Maria Montessori

yellow flower field near mountain during daytime

Every great cause is born from repeated failures and from imperfect achievements.

--Maria Montessori

brown and black train track in between trees phtoography

Play is the work of the child.

--Maria Montessori


sea during daytime

The child who has felt a strong love for his surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.

--Maria Montessori

white wall paint beside white wall

The secret of good teaching is to regard the child's intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.

--Maria Montessori

blue wall

The first duty of the educator, whether he is involved with the newborn infant or the older child, is to recognize the human personality of the young being and respect it.

--Maria Montessori


white sand

Culture and education have no bounds or limits; now man is in a phase in which he must decide for himself how far he can proceed in the culture that belongs to the whole of humanity.

--Maria Montessori

man in black suit jacket and woman in blue dress kissing during daytime

Of all things love is the most potent.

--Maria Montessori


pink and blue painted wall

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

--Maria Montessori


bird on pier

Great tact and delicacy is necessary for the care of the mind of a child from three to six years, and an adult can have very little of it.

--Maria Montessori



closeup photo of bird beside purple petal flowers

To stimulate life, leaving it then free to develop, to unfold, herein lies the first task of the teacher.

--Maria Montessori

boy standing on grass and facing fence during daytime

A man is not what he is because of the teachers he has had, but because of what he has done.

--Maria Montessori

green leafed trees

When children come into contact with nature, they reveal their strength.

--Maria Montessori

orange leaves tree

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.

--Maria Montessori


woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

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.

--Maria Montessori

green ceramic mug beside book

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

--Maria Montessori

close-up photo of pink flower

Joy is the evidence of inner growth.

--Maria Montessori

kid wearing green jacket mini figure beside glass window

When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.

--Maria Montessori




selective focus photography of sunflower

The children are now working as if I did not exist.

--Maria Montessori

bird's eye view photography of trees and body of water

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

--Maria Montessori

person standing on top of mountain

Freedom in intellectual work is found to be the basis of internal discipline.

--Maria Montessori


silhouette of tall trees

But if for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation.

--Maria Montessori


time lapse photography body of water

Deceit is a kind of garment that conceals the soul. It might even be compared to a whole wardrobe, so many are its guises.

--Maria Montessori

None

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

--Maria Montessori


full moon in the sky

Man is capable of every great heroism; it was 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.

--Maria Montessori

blue and white abstract painting

The environment acts more strongly upon the individual life the less fixed and strong this individual life may be.

--Maria Montessori



yellow green leaf

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.'

--Maria Montessori

multicolored abstract painting

The more perfect the approximation to truth, the more perfect is art.

--Maria Montessori

long exposure photography of lights

If a child finds no stimuli for the activities which would contribute to his development, he is attracted simply to 'things' and desires to posses them.

--Maria Montessori

sunset

Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.

--Maria Montessori


white and black satellite dish on brown field during night time

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

--Maria Montessori

blue and white water surface

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.

--Maria Montessori

black textile on white background

If I am going up a ladder, and a dog begins to bite at my ankles, I can do one of two things -- either turn round and kick out at the it, or simply go on up the ladder. I prefer to go up the ladder!

--Maria Montessori

aerial view of blue ocean water during daytime

No one can be free unless he is independent.

--Maria Montessori

woman jumping near white wall paint

We must, therefore, quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction.

--Maria Montessori



snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.

--Maria Montessori

Longer Version:

No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child ... No slave was ever so much the property of his master as the child is of his parent ... Never were the rights of man ever so disregarded as in the case of the child.


man standing on sand while spreading arms beside calm body of water

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

--Maria Montessori

fireplace on fire

The child who concentrates is immensely happy.

--Maria Montessori


silhouette photo of mountain during night time

The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult.

--Maria Montessori

None

The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator.

--Maria Montessori

rocky mountain under starry night

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.

--Maria Montessori

Longer Version:

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. It is not acquired by listening to words, but in virtue of experiences in which the child acts on his environment. The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.







dew drops on glass panel

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.

--Maria Montessori

None

Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of tall trees

A teacher, therefore, who would think that he could prepare himself for his mission through study alone would be mistaken. The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of kneeling man

The adult works to improve his environment while the child works to improve himself.

--Maria Montessori

blue and white water waves

What advice can we give to new mothers? Their children need to work at an interesting occupation: they should not be helped unnecessarily, nor interrupted, once they have begun to do something intelligent.

--Maria Montessori

grey cliff near body of water

Only practical work and experience lead the young to maturity.

--Maria Montessori


snow covered mountain under blue sky during daytime

The greatest source of discouragement is the conviction that one is unable to do something.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

The child will reveal himself through work.

--Maria Montessori

pug lying on pet bed

Dependence is not patriotism. A man does not love his mother if he hangs about her to the point of burdening her with a weak, feckless son.

--Maria Montessori

blue wall

We do not believe in the educative power of words and commands alone, but seek cautiously, and almost without the child's knowing it, to guide his natural activity.

--Maria Montessori

moon near mountain ridge

Love and the hope of it are not things one can learn; they are a part of life's heritage.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

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

--Maria Montessori


silver round analog wall clock

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.

--Maria Montessori

blue painted wall with white paint

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.

--Maria Montessori

None

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.

--Maria Montessori

aerial photography of forest

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

--Maria Montessori

road between yellow leaf trees at daytime

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

--Maria Montessori

pink and white abstract painting

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.

--Maria Montessori

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

Education should no longer be most imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.

--Maria Montessori

silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

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

--Maria Montessori


girl and boy figurines

The principal agent is the object itself and not the instruction given by the teacher. It is the child who uses the objects; it is the child who is active, and not the teacher.

--Maria Montessori

women's black and pink monokini

Preventing war is the work of politicians, establishing peace is the work of educationists.

--Maria Montessori



stars across the sky view at the desert

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

--Maria Montessori


None

We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.

--Maria Montessori

black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

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

--Maria Montessori

purple flowers under sunny sky

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

--Maria Montessori

tree and pink sky painting

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.

--Maria Montessori

None

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.

--Maria Montessori

closeup photography of wall

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.

--Maria Montessori

Blue to purple gradient

Never help a child with a task that they feel they can complete themselves.

--Maria Montessori



blue wall

Our aim is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.

--Maria Montessori


blue sky with white clouds

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.

--Maria Montessori

black fishes

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

--Maria Montessori

white flower graphic wallpaper

An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, which has the virtue of inducing concentration rather than fatigue, adds to the child's energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery.

--Maria Montessori

None

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.

--Maria Montessori



green textile in close up image

There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.

--Maria Montessori




fawn pug on bed

The child's parents are not his makers but his guardians.

--Maria Montessori



None

Education today, in this particular social period, is assuming truly unlimited importance. And the increased emphasis on its practical value can be summed up in one sentence: education is the best weapon for peace.

--Maria Montessori

body of water under cloudy sky at night

Within the child lies the fate of the future.

--Maria Montessori



green trees near lake under cloudy sky during daytime

How often is the soul of man -- especially in childhood -- deprived because he is not allowed to come in contact with nature.

--Maria Montessori

blue and white abstract painting

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

--Maria Montessori

Longer Version:

The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity, as often happens in old-time discipline ... A room in which all the children move about usefully, intelligently, and voluntarily, without committing any rough or rude act, would seem to me a classroom very well disciplined indeed.


low angle photo of starry night

Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding.

--Maria Montessori

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