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"The fundamental principle of scientific pedagogy must be, indeed, the liberty of the pupil..." Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, p. 28, Schocken Books, 1964.

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"Today we hold the pupils in school, restricted by those instruments so degrading to body and spirit, the desk-- and material prizes and punishments.  Our aim in all this is to reduce them to the discipline of immobility and silence,-- to lead them, --where?  Far too often toward no definite end."  Maria Montessori, p. 26, The Montessori Method, Schocken Books, 1964.
“...The first two years are the most important in life.”  Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, India, 1949, p. 3
“Within a child there is a very scrupulous teacher.”  Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, India, 1949, p. 5
“The only language that man learns perfectly is acquired at this period of childhood when no one can teach him.  
Not only that, but no matter what help and assistance he will get later in life if he tries to learn a new language,
he will not be able to speak it with the same exactitude as he does the one acquired in childhood.”  
Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, India, 1949, p. 5

“It is not the professor who applies psychology to children, it is the children themselves who teach psychology to
the professor.”  Maria Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras, India,
1949, p. 4
"The mother tongue alone is well pronounced because it was established in the period of childhood; and the adult who learns to speak a new language must bring to it the imperfections characteristic of the foreigner's speech: only children who under the age of seven years learn several languages at the same time can receive and reproduce all characteristic mannerisms of accent and pronunciation."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 18, p.315-16, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.