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born 1870

Besides being the first ever woman to graduate from medical school in Italy, Dr. Maria Montessori was a pioneer in the field of early childhood education whose international impact even in her own day led to 3 consecutive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize...not to mention, Montessori schools, publications, congresses and associations.

Maria debuted her hands-on, child-centered style of teaching in an under-served area of Rome in 1907. Over a century later, there are still 20,000 schools worldwide that bear her name and countless others that take up her time-tested methods.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Maria Montessori (11)

"In all this progress of modern child education, we have not freed ourselves from the prejudice which denies children spiritual expression and spiritual needs, and makes us consider them only as amiable vegetating bodies to be cared for, kissed, and set in motion."

The Montessori Method | january 1909

"He who is served is limited in his independence."

The Montessori Method | january 1909

"To stimulate life—leaving it then free to develop, to unfold—herein lies the first task of the educator."

The Montessori Method | january 1909

"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."

The Montessori Method | 1909

"The man who, through his own efforts, is able to perform all the actions necessary for his comfort and development in life, conquers himself, and in doing so multiplies his abilities and perfects himself as an individual."

The Montessori Method | 1909

"Education is the best weapon for peace."

Peace and Education | 1932

"Education today, in this particular social period, is assuming truly unlimited importance. And the increased emphasis on its practical value can be summed up in one sentence: education is the best weapon for peace."

Peace and Education | 1932

"Actually the normal child is one who is precociously intelligent, who has learned to overcome himself and to live in peace, and who prefers a disciplined task to futile idleness."

The Secret of Childhood | 1936

"Education is not what the teacher gives: education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual. It is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences."

The Absorbent Mind | 1949

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

The Absorbent Mind | 1949

"In the same way in which we help the patients in a hospital, so we must now help humanity to save itself. We must be nurses in a hospital, as vast as the world itself."

The Formation of Man | 1955
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {june 2014}