Attributed Quotes

 

Preparation of the Teacher

 

"The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task." 
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 149

 

"We must be taught and we must be willing to accept guidance if we wish to become effective teachers." 
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 149

 

"...a teacher should never forget that he is a teacher and that his mission is one of education."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 153

 

"When we think about mixed ages, we must make sure we aren't starving children intellectually or physically... we should not have a supermarket, but just what is essential." 

- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 152

 

"The work of education is divided between the teacher and the environment." 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 152

 

"The objects in our system are instead a help to the child himself, he chooses what he wants for his own use, and works with it according to his own needs, tendencies and special interests. In this way, the objects become a means of growth." 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 150

 

"In brief, the teacher's principle duty in the school may be described as follows: She should explain the use of the material. She is the main connecting link between the material, that is the objects, and the child. This is a simple, modest duty, and yet it is much more delicate than that found in the older schools, where the material simply helps the children to understand the mind of the teacher, who must pass on her own ideas to a child, who must in turn receive them." 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 151

 

"To become acquainted with the material, a teacher should not just look at it, study it in a book, or learn its use through the explanations of another. Rather, she must exercise herself with it for a long time, trying in this way to evaluate through her own experience the difficulties of, or the interests inherent in, each piece of material that can be given to a child, trying to interpret, although imperfectly, the impressions which a child himself can get from it. moreover, if a teacher has enough patience to repeat an exercise as often as a child, she can measure in herself the energy and endurance possessed by a child of a determined age. For this final purpose, the teacher can grade the materials and thus judge the capacity of a child for a certain kind of activity at a given stage of his development." 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 152-3

 

"They do not understand us, they cannot defend themselves from us, and they accept whatever we tell them. They not only accept abuse, but feel guilty whenever we blame them." 
- Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 151

 

"Adults dominate children by virtue of a recognized natural right. To question this right would be the same as attacking a kind of consecrated sovereignty." 
- Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 152

 

"The conflict between adult and child has consequences reaching out almost to infinity, like the waves that are propagated when a stone is thrown into the surface of a tranquil late. A disturbance is started that spreads out in a circle in all directions."
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 153

 

"The inexperienced teacher, filled with enthusiasm and faith in this inner discipline which she expects to appear in our little community finds herself faced with no light problems." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 263

 

"Let us always remember that inner discipline is something to come and not something always present."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 248

 

"Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy." 
- The Child in the Family :: The Clio Montessori Series, 1996 :: p. 63

 

"The different types of deviated children do not shake the faith of this teacher, who sees a different type of child in the spiritual field, and looks confidently for this self to show when attracted by work that interests. She waits for the children to show signs of concentration."
- Education for a New World :: Clio Press, 1988 :: p.67

 

"We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit." 
- Education for a New World :: Clio Press, 1988 :: p. 69

 

"....you yourselves must be filled with wonder and when you have acquired that, then you are prepared."
- Montessori, Her Life and Work :: The Penguin Group, 1987 :: p. 309

 

Liberty and Discipline [TOP]

 

"Discipline, the first result of an order establishing itself within, is the principal phenomenon to be looked for as the 'external sign' of an internal process that has been initiated." 

- Spontaneous Activity in Education :: Clio Montessori Series, 1994 :: p. 68

 

"Let us always remember that inner discipline is something to come, and not already present. Our task is to show the way to discipline. Discipline is born when the child concentrates his attention on some objects that attracts him and provides him not only with a useful exercise but with a control of error." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 240

 

"The roots of every plant seek out, from among the many substances which the 
soil contains, only those which they need." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 248

 

"She (the directress) understands and believes that the children must be free to choose their own occupations just as they must never be interrupted in their spontaneous activities. No work may be imposed - no threats, no rewards, no punishments." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p240.

 

"This is the period in which discipline becomes established: a form of active peace, of obedience and love, when work is perfected and multiplied, just as when the flowers in spring get their colours and prepare a distant harvest of sweet and nourishing fruit."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 251

 

"So what we call the first level of obedience is that in which the child can obey, but not always. It is a period in which obedience and disobedience seem to be combined." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 237

 

"The second level is when the child can always obey, or rather when there are no longer any obstacles deriving from his lack of control."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 237

 

"The children are almost like saints or godly and I didn't want to spoil it by saying anything wrong. They are so innocent, I didn't want to mislead them." 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 237

 

Human Tendencies [TOP]

 

"A child's sensitivity to order may be noticed even in the first months of his existence. A positive manifestation of it may be seen in the enthusiasm and joy which children who at seeing things in their proper places."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 49.

 

"Man is not a vegetating body which lives on material nourishment, nor is he destined to sensual emotions alone. Man is that superior being who is endowed with intelligence and is destined to do a great task on earth. he must transform it, conquer it, utilize it and construct a new world full of marvels which surpasses and overrules the wonders of nature. It is man who creates civilization. This work is unlimited and it is the aim of his physical limbs. From his first appearance on earth, man has been a worker." 
- Formation of Man :: Clio Press, reprinted 1994 :: p. 69

 

"The skill of man's hand is tied up with the development of his mind, and with the light of history, we see it connected with the development of civilization."... "Hence the development of manual skill keeps pace with mental development. Certainly, the more delicate the work, the more it needs the care and attention of an intelligent mind to guide it."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 138

 

"The human hand, so delicate and so complicated, not only allows the mind to reveal itself but it enables the whole human being to enter into special relationships with its environment. We might even say that man takes possession of his environment with his hands."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 81

 

Four Planes of Development [TOP]

 

"With regard to the child, education should correspond to them, so that instead of dividing the schools into nursery, primary, secondary and university, we should divide education in planes and each of these should correspond to the phase the developing individuality goes through."
- Four Planes of Education :: AMI, 1971 (Edinburgh and London lectures) :: p. 3

 

"And gradually we educators are confronted with a simple but important fact: that to help the child is not what he needs, and indeed that to give help is an impediment for the child. Therefore he must be allowed to act freely on his own initiative in this free environment."
- Four Planes of Education :: AMI, 1971 (Edinburgh and London lectures) :: p. 4

 

"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."
- Four Planes of Education :: AMI, 1971 (Edinburgh and London lectures) :: p. 11

 

Normalization [TOP]

 

"What matters is not physics, or botany, or the works of the hand, but the will and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves through work. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Montessori Press, 1994 :: p. 201

 

"As soon as children find something that interests them they lose their instability and learn to concentrate."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 145

 

" I would not be able to cite a single example of a conversion taking place without an interesting task that concentrated the child's activities. There are wide varieties of conversions that have occurred in this way. Children of a nervous temperament have become calm. The depressed have regained their spirits, and all have advanced together along the path of disciplined work, making progress through the outward manifestation of an inner energy which has found a means of expressions."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 147

 

"A fugue is a kind of flight, a taking refuge. A flight into play or into a world of fancy often conceals an energy that has been divided. It represents a subconscious defense of the ego which flees from suffering or danger and hides itself behind a mask."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 157

 

"The average intelligence of normal children is low compared to that of normalized children. Because their energies have been misdirected, they are like children with broken bones who have need of special care if they are to become physically fit again. But instead of receiving the delicate treatment which they need for the correction of their psychic disorders and the furthering of their intellectual growth, children are frequently bullied about. A diverted mind cannot be forced and any attempt to correct it in this way will provoke a psychological reaction."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 157

 

"What matters is not physics, or botany, or the works of the hand, but the will and the components of the human spirit which construct themselves through work. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned."

- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 201

 

Prepared Environment [TOP]

 

"There is only one basis for observation: the children must be able to express themselves and thus reveal those needs and attitudes which would otherwise remain hidden or repressed in an environment that did not permit them to act spontaneously. An observer obviously needs something to observe, and if he must be trained to be able to see and recognize objective truth, he must have at his disposal children placed in such an environment that they can manifest their natural traits."
- The Discovery of the Child :: The Clio Montessori Series reprinted 1994 :: p. 48.

 

"The first aim of the prepared environment is, as far as it is possible, to render the growing child independent of the adult. "
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 267

 

"A child is an eager observer and is particularly attracted by the actions of the adults and wants to imitate them. In this regard an adult can have a kind of mission. He can be an inspiration for the child's actions, a kind of open book wherein a child can learn how to direct his own movements. But an adult, if he is to afford 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 Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 93

"But in those countries where the toy making industry is less advanced, you will find children with quite different tastes. They are also calmer, more sensible and happy. Their one idea is to take part in the activities going on about them. They are more like ordinary folk, using and handling the same things as the grown-ups."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 154

 

Sensitive Periods of Development [TOP]

 

"A teacher said a word rapidly in passing, and on return saw it had been written with moveable letters. For these mites of four, once was enough, though a child of seven requires much repetition before he grasps the word correctly. All this was due to that special period of sensitivity; the mind was like soft wax, susceptible at this age to impressions which could not be taken in at a later stage, when this special malleability would have disappeared."
- Education for a New World :: Clio Montessori Series,1996 :: p. 5

 

"A child learns to adjust himself and make acquisitions in his sensitive periods. These are like a beam that lights interiorly or a battery that furnishes energy. It is this sensibility which enables a child to come into contact with the external world in a particularly intense manner. At such a time everything is easy; all is life and enthusiasm. Every effort marks an increase in power. Only when the goal has been obtained does fatigue and the weight of indifference come on."
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 40

 

The Absorbent Mind [TOP]

 

"The absorbent mind is indeed a marvelous gift to humanity! By merely ‘living' and without and conscious effort the individual absorbs from the environment even a complex cultural achievement like language. If this essential mental form existed in the adult, how much easier would our studies be!"
- The Formation of Man :: Clio Press, 1994 :: p.64.

 

"It is a mental chemistry that takes place in the child, producing a chemical transformation. These impressions not only penetrate the mind of the child, they form it; they become incarnated, for the child makes his own ‘mental flesh' in using the things that are in his environment. We have called this type of mind the ‘absorbent mind' and it is difficult for us to conceive the magnitude of its powers."
- Education for a New World :: Clio Press Limited, 1989 :: p. 14

 

"Horme belongs to life in general, to what might be called the divine urge, the source of evolution... and stimulates the child to action if he is allowed to grow, it shows in the joy of life."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 76

 

Role of Montessori Environment in the Absorbent Mind [TOP]

 

"We must give the child relaxation from the continuous direction of adults. So we give them the right environment, relaxation and freedom from orders. This is an indirect treatment; it is not the correction of the individual but the preparation for a new life. This is something children have never had, even in the grandest and richest of homes. For even in a palace, you find that the children are relegated to some obscure nursery." 
- The Child, Society and the World :: Clio Press, 1998 :: p. 78

 

"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."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 12

 

"The characteristic of children under 6 years of age is that it is almost impossible to teach them; children of this age cannot take from a teacher. Therefore they are considered to be too young to go to school and therefore education does not begin until 6 years of age. Another characteristic of this age is that the children know and understand a great deal. They are full of knowledge. This would seem to be a contradiction, but the truth is that these children must take knowledge by themselves from the environment." 
- The Child, Society and the World :: Clio Press, 1998 :: p. 44

 

"During this early period, education must be understood as a help to the unfolding of the child's inborn psychic powers. This means that we cannot use the orthodox methods of teaching, which depends on talk."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 4

 

"This system in which a child is constantly moving objects with his hands and actively exercising his senses, also takes into account a child's special aptitude for mathematics. When they leave the material, the children very easily reach the point where they wish to write out the operation. They can thus carryout an abstract mental operation and acquire a kind of natural and spontaneous inclination for mental calculations."
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 279

 

"In the mysterious period which follows immediately after birth, the child-who is a psychic entity endowed with a specially refined form of sensitiveness - might be regarded as an ego asleep. But all of a sudden he wakes up and hears delicious music; all his fibers begin to vibrate. The baby might think that no other sound had ever reached his ears, but really it was because his soul was not responsive to other sounds. Only human speech had any power to stir him."
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: pp. 199, 120

 

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

- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 121

 

"How easily his helplessness can cause him mental anguish, and how much our understanding of his language can help us to save him from this, and calm his mind!" 
- The Absorbent Mind :: Clio Press Limited, 1994 :: p. 121

 

"Writing is a key to a double gain. It enables the hand to master a vital skill like that of speaking and to create a second means of communication that reflects the spoken word in all its details. Writing is thus dependent upon mind and hand." 
- The Secret of Childhood :: Fides Publishers, 1966 :: p. 131

 

"One of the marvellous things that the children showed in their work was their reaction to written language. The children we had, learnt to write with very little help, almost by themselves."
- The Child, Society and the World :: Clio Press, 1998 :: pp. 21, 22

 

Sensorial [TOP]

 

"The training and sharpening of the senses has the obvious advantage of enlarging the field of perception and of offering an ever more solid foundation for intellectual growth. The intellect builds up its store of practical ideas through contact with, and exploration of, its environment. Without such concepts the intellect would lack precision and inspiration in its abstract operations." 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 110

 

"Aesthetic and moral education are also closely connected with the training of the senses. By multiplying sense experiences and developing the ability to evaluate the smallest differences in various stimuli, ones sensibilities are refined and ones pleasures increased. Beauty is found in harmony, not in discord; and harmony implies affinities, but these require a refinement of the sense if they are to be perceived. The beautiful harmonies of nature and of art escape those whose senses are dull. " 
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 148

 

"A child at this time is ready to rediscover his own environment and the inner wealth of impressions which he has of it." "... we may mention the great assistance given by our sensorial materials and the exercises done with them in the detection of functional defects in the senses at a time when much can be done to correct them."
- Discovery of the Child :: Clio Press, 1988 (reprinted 1996 edition) :: p. 102