151+ Best Maria Montessori Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy. Timeless Maria Montessori quotes about children, teachers and environment will give you the inspiration and guidance you need.

If you’re searching for life quotes and sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of inspirational Jane Goodall quotes, powerful Margaret Mead quotes, and best Noam Chomsky quotes.

Most Famous Maria Montessori Quotes

Free the child’s potential, and you will transform him into the world. – Maria Montessori

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child. – Maria Montessori

Do not tell them how to do it. Show them how to do it and do not say a word. If you tell them, they will watch your lips move. If you show them, they will want to do it themselves. – Maria Montessori

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child’s own natural desire to learn. – Maria Montessori

Teach by teaching, not by correcting – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

Children have an anxious concern for living beings, and the satisfaction of this instinct fills them with delight. It is therefore easy to interest them in taking care of plants and especially of animals. Nothing awakens foresight in a small child such as this. When he knows that animals have need of him, that little plants will dry up if he does not water them, he binds together with a new thread of love today’s passing moments with those of the morrow. – Maria Montessori

Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create. – Maria Montessori

These words reveal the child’s inner needs; ‘Help me to do it alone’. – Maria Montessori

Joy is the evidence of inner growth. – Maria Montessori

The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind. – Maria Montessori

We must dig down to the deepest mystery of human life; we must reach the nucleus from which all is formed, the apparent non-existent psyche of the newborn child. He has the power to develop everything which is in man. He creates a being who can orientate himself in the environment. – Maria Montessori

To teach details is to bring confusion; to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge. – Maria Montessori

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

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

Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. – Maria Montessori

Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding. – Maria Montessori

This is our responsibility, not to spoil the great laws of nature and the effort which is in each child. The teacher must be the servant of nature. The highest thing she can do is to serve. The best she can do is to be a perfect servant, to show respect and care, and be humble. Her plan must be to nurture life, which is a force, a force full of wisdom and power. – Maria Montessori

First the education of the senses, then the education of the intellect. – Maria Montessori

It is exactly in the repetition of the exercises that the education of the senses exists; not that the child shall know colors, forms or qualities, but that he refines his senses through an exercise of attention, comparison and judgment. – Maria Montessori

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

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. – Maria Montessori

Of all things love is the most potent. – Maria Montessori

A child’s work is to create the person she/he will become. – Maria Montessori

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

The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future. – Maria Montessori

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

What we need is a world full of miracles, like the miracle of seeing the young child seeking work and independence and manifesting a wealth of enthusiasm and love. – Maria Montessori

The first essential for the child’s development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy. – Maria Montessori

When I say that we must take the child as our teacher you will probably object, saying we must educate the child and give him all sorts of information, that he must learn the subjects we think important. Do not have these prejudices. When his energies are freed, the child will be better able to learn than before. – Maria Montessori

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

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

Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning. – Maria Montessori

Although this method bears my name, it is not the result of the efforts of a great thinker who has developed his own ideas. My method is founded on the child himself. Our study has its origins in the child. The method has been achieved by following the child and his psychology.

There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community. – Maria Montessori

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

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

The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six. – Maria Montessori

What the hand does the mind remembers. – Maria Montessori

The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self. Adults work to finish a task, but the child works in order to grow, and is working to create the adult, the person that is to be. Such experience is not just play… it is work he must do in order to grow up. – Maria Montessori

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

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

Peace is what every human being is craving for, and it can be brought about by humanity through the child. – Maria Montessori

There are different periods in life when we can acquire different abilities. Little children can do things that older ones are no longer capable of. Children from birth to six years have a power that we no longer have, for they are at the age of creation. – Maria Montessori

It is necessary for the teacher to guide the child without letting him feel her presence too much, so that she may always be ready to supply the desired help but may never be the obstacle between the child and his experience. – Maria Montessori

If we really want children to grow into independent and resourceful adults, we should stop pouring their milk as soon as they have learned to pour it themselves and stop fastening their buttons as soon as they can fasten them without help. – Maria Montessori

Play is the work of the child. – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

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

The child has a mind able to absorb knowledge. He has the power to teach himself. – Maria Montessori

As soon as children find something that interests them, they lose their instability and learn to concentrate. – Maria Montessori

He does it with his hands, by experience, first in play and then through work. The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence. – Maria Montessori

Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point of a whole which has roots in the most distant past and climbs toward the infinite future. – Maria Montessori

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

To aid life, leaving it free, however, that is the basic task of the educator. – Maria Montessori

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

If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men. – Maria Montessori

The first idea the child must acquire is that of the difference between good and evil. – Maria Montessori

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

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

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? – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master. – Maria Montessori

The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything! – Maria Montessori

We especially need imagination in science. It is not all mathematics, nor all logic, but it is somewhat beauty and poetry. – Maria Montessori

Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity which is derived from a sense of independence. – Maria Montessori

The art of Montessori, which simply means finding the best way to help the child himself become what he was meant to become from the first moment of conception, is an art that joins home and school. That means parent and teacher supporting one another in their responsibility to the life of the child. – Maria Montessori

There is in every child a painstaking teacher, so skillful that he obtains identical results in all children in all parts of the world. The only language men ever speak perfectly is the one they learn in babyhood, when no one can teach them anything! – Maria Montessori

The second period, six to twelve, is a peaceful period of a singular regularity. This age is a time of rest. The child of six is different from the child of twelve. The twelve-year-old has grown during the preceding six years, but there have been no great transformations; it has been a time of peaceful growing. For this reason, the second plane is a period of power and mental strength. It is a time for work and mental application. – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

Children display a universal love of mathematics, which is par excellence the science of precision, order, and intelligence. – Maria Montessori

The child is essentially alien to this society of men and might express his position in the words of the Gospel: My kingdom is not of this world – Maria Montessori

An educational method that shall have liberty as its basis must intervene to help the child to a conquest of liberty. That is to say, his training must be such as shall help him to diminish as much as possible the social bonds which limit his activity. – Maria Montessori

One who has drunk at the fountain of spiritual happiness says good-by of his own accord to the satisfactions that come from a higher professional status … What is the greatest sign of success for a teacher thus transformed? It is to be able to say, The children are now working as if I did not exist. – Maria Montessori

A humankind abandoned in its earlier formative stage becomes its own greatest threat to survival. – Maria Montessori

The work of education is divided between the teacher and the environment. – Maria Montessori

The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task. – Maria Montessori

No adult can bear a child’s burden or grow up in his stead. – Maria Montessori

If we wish to be the interpreter of the child, we must realise that we are studying an unconscious phenomenon. Before consciousness arrives, there is great activity and work in the unconscious. The child is unconscious but has great ability and power. – Maria Montessori

When the children had completed an absorbing bit of work, they appeared rested and deeply pleased. It almost seemed as if a road had opened up within their souls that led to all their latent powers, revealing the better part of themselves. They exhibited a great affability to everyone, put themselves out to help others and seemed full of good will. – Maria Montessori

It is not the child as a physical but as a psychic being that can provide a strong impetus to the betterment of mankind. It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization. – Maria Montessori

It is easy to substitute our will for that of the child by means of suggestion or coercion; but when we have done this we have robbed him of his greatest right, the right to construct his own personality. – Maria Montessori

The world of education is like an island where people cut off from the world are prepared for life by exclusion from it. – Maria Montessori

In nature nothing creates itself and nothing destroys itself. – Maria Montessori

By the time a child is three months old, he is already looking with great interest at the mouth of anyone who is speaking. He is interested, because this mouth is doing something which has already struck him as fascinating; unconsciously he is curious to watch this strange organ from which these sounds emanate. – Maria Montessori

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

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

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

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. – Maria Montessori

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

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

If education is to be based on what we know of little children, we must first understand their development. – Maria Montessori

The child’s conquest of independence begins with his first introduction to life. While he is developing, he perfects himself and overcomes every obstacle that he finds in his path. A vital force is active within him, and this guides his efforts towards their goal. It is a force called the ‘horme’, by Sir Percy Nunn. – Maria Montessori

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

The child endures all things. – Maria Montessori

The hand is the prehensile organ of the mind. – Maria Montessori

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

With younger children the greatest reward is to be able to pass on to a new stage in each subject. It is a punishment to a young child not to be allowed to use the apparatus but to sit still and do nothing. – Maria Montessori

Bring the child to the consciousness of his own dignity and he will feel free. – Maria Montessori

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

Children must grow not only in the body but in the spirit, and the mother longs to follow the mysterious spiritual journey of the beloved one who to-morrow will be the intelligent, divine creation, man. – Maria Montessori

Every detail of a child’s life has rules, mysterious laws. Every detail is of importance, so we must respect everything, even if it does not seem logical to us. We do not know the consequences; we are not the judges, but the servants of nature. – Maria Montessori

There can be no substitute for work, neither affection nor physical well-being can replace it. – Maria Montessori

The more perfect the approximation to truth, the more perfect is art. – Maria Montessori

In the vivid description of the Gospel, it would seem that we must help the Christ hidden in every poor man, in every prisioner, in every sufferer. But if we paraphrased the marvelous scene and applied it to the child, we should find that Christ goes to help all men in the form of the child. – Maria Montessori

Since it is through movement that the will realizes itself, we should assist a child in his attempts to put his will into act. – Maria Montessori

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

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

Certainly it is a new task that confronts us, to study and take into account the needs of this absorbent mind. It is to respond to these needs that we say, ‘Education must begin at birth’. We must provide the child’s psychic powers with the nourishment they require. – Maria Montessori

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

The child’s true constructive energy, a dynamic power, has remained unnoticed for thousands of years. Just as men have trodden the earth, and later tilled its surface, without thought for the immense wealth hidden in its depths, so the men of our day make progress after progress in civilized life, without noticing the treasures that lie hidden in the psychic world of infancy. – Maria Montessori

Within the child lies the fate of the future. Whoever wishes to confer some benefit on society must preserve him from deviations and observe his natural ways of acting. A child is mysterious and powerful and contains within himself the secret of human nature. – Maria Montessori

If education recognizes the intrinsic value of the child’s personality and provides an environment suited to spiritual growth, we have the revelation of an entirely new child whose astonishing characteristics can eventually contribute to the betterment of the world. – Maria Montessori

Although we call it our mother tongue, it is not the mother who teaches the child a language. If the mother was dead, the child would still learn a language. If the mother took the child to live in a foreign country, the child would acquire the language of that country perfectly, while the mother would not. – Maria Montessori

If we can, when we have established individual discipline, arrange the children, sending each one to his own place, in order, trying to make them understand the idea that thus placed they look well, and that it is a good thing to be placed in order . . . – Maria Montessori

One of the great problems facing men is their failure to realize the fact that a child possesses an active psychic life even when he cannot manifest it, and that the child must secretly perfect this inner life over a long period of time. – Maria Montessori

How does he achieve this independence? He does it by means of a continuous activity. How does he become free? By means of constant effort. we know that development results from activity. The environment must be rich in motives which lend interest to activity and invite the child to conduct his own experiences. – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

… nothing is created or destroyed in nature … – Maria Montessori

Imagine how difficult it is to learn one of the classical languages, such as Latin or Sanskrit. What a lot of work it requires – students study Latin for six or seven years and, at the end, cannot speak it. Yet in Roman times every child that played in the streets spoke Latin, using all the correct declensions of the nouns and conjugations of the verbs. – Maria Montessori

A vital force is active in every individual and leads it towards its own evolution. – Maria Montessori

It follows that at the beginning of his life the individual can accomplish wonders without effort and quite unconsciously. – Maria Montessori

Order is … the true key to rapidity of reaction. – Maria Montessori

Red Rods Before elaborating any system of education, we must therefore create a favorable environment that will encourage the flowering of a child’s natural gifts. All that is needed is to remove the obstacles. And this should be the basis of, and point of departure for, all future education. The first thing to be done, therefore, is to discover the true nature of a child and then assist him in his normal development. – Maria Montessori

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

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

Without language, he [the newborn] learns to speak; without intelligence, he constructs it; he coordinates his movements and learns to walk; he becomes interested in things. Nothing existed. Everything has been constructed by him. In him we are confronted by the mysterious, miraculous fact of creation. – Maria Montessori

Except when he has regressive tendencies, the child’s nature is to aim directly and energetically at functional independence. – Maria Montessori

To give a child liberty is not to abandon him to himself. – Maria Montessori

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. – Maria Montessori

He who experiments must, while doing so, divest himself of every preconception. It is clear then that if we wish to make use of a method of experimental psychology, the first thing necessary is to renounce all former creeds and to proceed by means of the method in the search for truth. – Maria Montessori

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

Driven by this inner sensibility children absorb language from their environment and miraculously develop it. This sensibility is so great during this period that if they were to be given another means of expressing language, such as writing, this other form of language will interest the child intensely. These children loved to write because they were in the sensitive period for language. – Maria Montessori

We seek to sow life in the child rather than theories, to help him in his growth, mental and emotional as well as physical, and for that we must offer grand and lofty ideas to the human mind, – Maria Montessori

Children are not only sensitive to silence, but also to a voice which calls them … Out of that silence. – Maria Montessori

The real preparation for education is the study of one’s self. – Maria Montessori

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

The aim of education should not be to teach how to use human energies to improve the environment, for we are finally beginning to realize that the cornerstone of education is the development of the human personality, and that in this regard education is of immediate importance for the salvation of mankind. – Maria Montessori

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

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

The ‘absorbent mind’ welcomes everything, puts its hope in everything, accepts poverty equally with wealth, adopts any religion and the prejudices and habits of its countrymen, incarnating all in itself. This is the child! – Maria Montessori

For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind? – Maria Montessori

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

The social rights of children must be recognized so that a world suited to their needs may be constructed for them. The greatest crime that society commits is that of wasting the money which it should use for children on things that will destroy them and society itself as well. – Maria Montessori

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

Let us keep before us this image of the child who absorbs everything in the environment, and who, in his mysterious subconscious, fixes it in his personality. One day the child gives expression to what has been fixed in his subconscious, just as a photographer, coming out of his darkroom, will show you the proof of the photograph which was taken. – Maria Montessori

The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind. – Maria Montessori

The greatest triumph of our educational method should always be this: to bring about the spontaneous progress of the child. – Maria Montessori

Education, as conceived today, is something separated both from biological and social life. – Maria Montessori

Order is not goodness; but perhaps it is the indispensable road to arrive at it. – Maria Montessori

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

The child is a worker and a diligent observer. He looks straight at things; he stares at them for a long time; he is interested in learning all he can about his environment. Perhaps he is staring at a flower, absorbing its image. This work gives him happiness and peace because, in doing so, he is following his natural urges. – Maria Montessori

At one year of age the child says his first intentional word his babbling has a purpose, and this intention is a proof of conscious intelligence He becomes ever more aware that language refers to his surroundings, and his wish to master it consciously becomes also greater. Subconsciously and unaided, he strains himself to learn, and this effort makes his success all the more astonishing. – Maria Montessori

Independence is not a static condition; it is a continuous conquest, and in order to reach not only freedom, but also strength, and the perfecting on one’s powers, it is necessary to follow this path of unremitting toil. – Maria Montessori

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

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. – Maria Montessori

Today children are given toys; that at least is something. Even if they are not fundamentally the right things, at least they fulfil the need for manipulation. However, when I gave the children this scientific material, they preferred it to toys because it responds to an urge in their nature; it enables them to develop. – Maria Montessori

Education should therefore include the two forms of work, manual and intellectual, for the same person, and thus make it understood by practical experience that these two kinds complete each other and are equally essential to a civilized existence. – Maria Montessori

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap