During a lecture in London, 1946, the educator Maria Montessori told the audience that “progress is not linear.” Here’s to embracing both the ups and downs of genuine growth, in children and in ourselves.
“The purpose of education must be to elevate the individual.” Maria Montessori
“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining …” Maria Montessori
“In our system we obviously have a different concept of discipline. The discipline that we are looking for is active. We do not believe that one is disciplined only when he is artificially made as silent as a mute and as motionless as a paralytic. Such a one is not disciplined but annihilated.” Maria Montessori
"Let the teacher not lose sight of the fact that the goal sought is not an immediate one - not the hike - but rather to make the spiritual being which she is educating capable of finding his way by himself.” Maria Montessori
“…the child is all motion. He moves hither and thither to raise us far above the earth.” Maria Montessori
This is Maria Montessori's grave, located in the small seaside village of Noordwijk, Netherlands, where she passed away. Her tombstone reads ~"I beg the dear, all-powerful children to join me in creating peace in man and in the world."
“Insatiable at this age is the child’s thirst for words, and inexhaustible his capacity for learning them." Maria Montessori
“The child who has never learned to work by himself, to set goals for his own acts, or to be the master of his own force of will is recognizable in the adult who lets others guide him and feels a constant need for the approval of others.” Maria Montessori
"Within the child lies the fate of the future." Maria Montessori
“The child developing harmoniously and the adult improving himself at his side make a very exciting and attractive picture.” Maria Montessori
Today, it's commonplace for boys and girls and men and women to say math is "hard" or "boring", but Montessori children are living proof that this doesn't have to be the case.
A note from Maria Montessori on bringing the child out into the world...
“[F]rom the depths of the child’s soul we can draw something new, something useful for all of us, some light that would clarify the obscure causes of human behavior.” Maria Montessori, The Formation of Man
What Maria Montessori describes as "the fundamental fact which led me to define my method."
“All the older ones become heroes and teachers, and the tinies are their admirers.” Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
For America's Independence Day, here is a wonderful story of a child's personal independence, told by Maria Montessori's first American pupil.
“The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind. Little he cares about the knowledge of others; he wants to acquire a knowledge of his own, to have experience of the world, and to perceive it by his own unaided efforts.” Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind
"To have found one-fourth of the answer to his own question by his own effort is of more value to the child than to learn it all, half-understood, from another." Friedrich Fröbel, 19th-century educator
Maria Montessori is known primarily for her work with children, but she had tremendous insight into adults, too — such as her guidance on developing "a friendly feeling towards error".
"You see this tiny cube — watch it — for it is a great temptation to the children and it does disappear." Maria Montessori, London 1948
“Little children are very happy to see their mothers looking beautiful and admire them sincerely.” Maria Montessori
How an effective teacher gets headstrong children to clean up after themselves
Children in Montessori classrooms often spontaneously help one another, just as the late Montessori biographer E.M. Standing affectionately describes witnessing here...
“The best thing to offer to children is a loving relationship. This never changes throughout life: human love is a basic necessity." Dr. Silvana Montanaro
"When the child has come to understand something it is not the end, but only the beginning." Maria Montessori
In late 19th-century Italy, the revolutionary educator Dr. Maria Montessori earned her medical degree — when doing so was deemed disgraceful by most men and was undared by other women.
"Far too many schools today are ... guilty of not allowing our children to think for themselves."
“It often happens that children who are more or less at the same stage in a subject will spontaneously form a group of two, three, or four, and work together for an hour or so, perhaps the whole morning.” E.M. Standing, biographer of Maria Montessori
Famed physicist Richard Feynman discusses how he came to love the wonders of the world as a child, through the influence of his caring father.