Quotes of Maria Montessori

Sweetwater Montessori School Preschool and Kindergarten Logo

The following are selected Dr. Maria Montessori quotes that shed additional light on her philosophy, her methods, and her powerful observations of the nature of children.

At Sweetwater Montessori School's preschool and kindergarten, we understand Maria Montessori's insights into the preschool mind and early childhood development, and strive to live every day according to the Montessori philosophy of learning. Feel free to talk to us for additional context in our preschool and kindergarten learning environment.


" The real preparation for education is the study of one's self. The training of the teacher is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit. "

" Follow the child, but follow the child as his leader. "

" Help me do it alone "

" 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. "

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

" A child who has become master of his acts through long, pleasant and interesting activities in which he has engaged, is a child filled with health and joy and remarkable for his calmness and discipline. "

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

" The child who seeks to be heard and is wounded by rejection often withdraws in a far more dangerous fashion than mere submission. "

" The child whom we have robbed of his own will becomes difficult; we believe that by doing things for him we will do him some good. "

A parent asked, " Well, won't it be a problem if my child attends a Montessori school for three years and enters the public school so far ahead? "
To which Maria Montessori replied: " If you knew a famine was going to take place in three years, would you starve yourself for those three years in preparation? "

" This is the treasure we need today - helping the child become indepenent of us and make his way by himself, receiving in return his gifts of hope and light. "

" Supposing I said there was a planet without schools or teachers, study was unknown, and yet the inhabitants - doing nothing but living and walking about came to know all things, to carry in their minds the whole of learning: Would you not think I was romancing? Well just this, which seems so fanciful as to be nothing but the invention of a fertile imagination, is a reality. It is the child's way of learning. This is the path he follows. He learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so passes little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love. "

" Making use of his own will in his contact with his environment, he (the child) develops his various facilities and thus becomes in a sense his own creator. We should regard this secret effort of the child as something sacred. "

" Social grace, inner discipline and joy. These are the birthright of the human being who has been allowed to develop essential human qualities. "

" 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. "

" 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. "

" The teacher's task is not a small easy one! She has to prepare a huge amount of knowledge to satisfy the child's mental hunger. She is not like the ordinary teacher, limited by a syllabus. The needs of the child are clearly more difficult to answer. "

" A child needs freedom within limits. "

" No one can be free if he is not independent... "

" The children have shown love of work which no one suspected to be in them, and a calm and an orderliness in their movements, which surpassing the limits of correctness have entered into those of 'grace.' The spontaneous discipline and obedience which is seen in the whole class, constituted the most striking results of our method. "

" 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. "

" A child is mysterious and powerful; And contains within himself the secret of human nature. "

" If I were to establish a primary principle, it would be to constantly allow the child's participation in our lives ... To extend to the child this hospitality, to allow him to participate in our work can be difficult, but it costs nothing. Our time is a far more precious gift than material objects. "

" Children are not only sensitive to silence, but also to a voice which calls them ... Out of that silence. "

If you are a student and find this page helpful in your studies of Montessori or preschool education, please:


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Sweetwater Montessori School   |  Pre-school and Kindergarten   |  403 Howell Rd.   |   New BernNC 28562   |   (252) 649-5746


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