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“...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.
"The development of articulate language takes place in the period between the age of two and the age of seven: the age of perceptions in which the attention of the child is spontaneously turned towards external objects, and the memory is particularly tenacious...It is well known that it is only at this age that it is possible to acquire all the characteristic modulations of a language which it would be vain to attempt to establish later."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 18, p.315, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"He who does something really great and victorious, is never spurred to his task by those trifling attractions called by the name of 'prizes,' nor by the fear of those petty ills which we call 'punishments.'  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.23, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.


"The jockey offers a piece of sugar to his horse before jumping into the saddle, the coachman beats his horse that he may respond to the signs given by the reins; and yet, neither of these runs so superbly as the free horse of the plains."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.21, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"The prize and the punishment 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 Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.21, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"...prizes and punishments are...the instrument of slavery for the spirit."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.21, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"Prizes and punishments are every-ready and efficient aids to the master who must force into a given attitude of mind and body those who are condemned to be his listeners."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.21, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"We know only too well the sorry spectacle of the teacher who, in the ordinary schoolroom, must pour certain cut and dried facts into the heads of scholars.  In order to succeed in this barren task, she finds it necessary to discipline her pupils into immobility and to force their attention."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.21, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"The moral degradation of the slave is, above all things, the weight that opposes the progress of humanity-- humanity striving to rise and held back by this great burden.  The cry of redemption speaks far more clearly for the souls of men than for their bodies."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.20, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"...desks are constructed in such a way as to render the child visible in all his immobility."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.16, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"The principle of slavery still pervades pedagogy, and therefore, the same principle pervades the school.  I need only give one proof-- the stationary desks and chairs."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.15-16, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"It is true that some pedagogues, led by Rousseau, have given voice to impracticable principles and vague aspirations for the liberty of the child, but the true concept of liberty is practically unknown to educators."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.15, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"It is not enough, then, to prepare in our Masters the scientific spirit.  We must also make ready the school for their observation.  The school must permit free, natural manifestations of the child if in the school scientific pedagogy is to be born. This is the essential reform."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.15, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.


"But let us seek to implant in the soul the self-sacrificing spirit of the scientist with the reverent love of the disciple of Christ, and we shall have prepared the spirit of the teacher.  From the child itself will he learn how to perfect himself as an educator." Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.13, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"But the love of man for man is a far more tender thing, and so simple that it is universal.  To love in this way is not the privilege of any especially prepared intellectual class, but lies within the reach of all men."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.13, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"The interest in humanity to which we wish to educate the teacher must be characterized by the intimate relationship between the observer and the individual to be observed..."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.12, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"The master is to study man in the awakening of his intellectual life."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.12, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"...we wish to awaken in the mind and heart of the educator an interest in natural phenomena to such an extent that, loving nature, he shall understand the anxious and expectant attitude of one who has prepared an experiment and who awaits a revelation from it."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.9, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.
"It is my belief that the thing which we should cultivate in our teachers is more the spirit than the mechanical skill of the scientist; that is, the direction of the preparation should be toward the spirit rather than toward the mechanism."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.9, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.

There exists, then, the "spirit" of the scientist...

"There exists, then, the "spirit" of the scientist, a thing far above his mere "mechanical skill," and the scientist is at the height of his achievement when the spirit has triumphed over the mechanism.  When he has reached this point, science will receive from him not only new revelations of nature, but philosophic syntheses of pure thought."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.9, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.

What is a scientist?

"What is a scientist?...We give the name scientist to the type of man who has felt experiment to be a means of guiding him to search out the deep truth of life, to lift a veil from its fascinating secrets, and who, in this pursuit, has felt arising within him a love for the mysteries of nature, so passionate as to annihilate the thought of himself."  Maria Montessori, The Montessori Method, Chapter 1, p.8, Schocken Books, Inc., 1964.