101 Inspirational Maria Montessori Quotes To Celebrate Education


Step into the mind of Dr. Maria Montessori, a trailblazer in education whose principles still influence Montessori schools worldwide, with these inspirational Maria Montessori quotes. Maria Montessori quotes offer timeless wisdom, from fostering independence to cherishing each child’s natural development. 

Explore our favorite Maria Montessori quotes that guide student learning and growth.

Our Favorite Maria Montessori Quotes

The child who concentrates is immensely happy.

Movement of the hand is essential. Little children revealed that the development of the mind is stimulated by the movement of the hands. The hand is the instrument of the intelligence.

Movement of the hand is essential. Little children revealed that the development of the mind is stimulated by the movement of the hands. The hand is the instrument of the intelligence.

The child gives us a beautiful lesson—that in order to form and maintain our intelligence, we must use our hands.

The child gives us a beautiful lesson—that in order to form and maintain our intelligence, we must use our hands.

The child’s sensibility to absorb language is so great that he can acquire foreign languages at this age [birth to three].

The child’s sensibility to absorb language is so great that he can acquire foreign languages at this age [birth to three].

Children have a kind of instinct, a special sensibility, which urges them to acquire new words. Between three and five years especially, the child’s mind continues to absorb words.

Children have a kind of instinct, a special sensibility, which urges them to acquire new words. Between three and five years especially, the child's mind continues to absorb words.

Perhaps a great future leader or a great genius is with us and his power will come from the power of the child he is today. This is the vision that we must have.

Perhaps a great future leader or a great genius is with us and his power will come from the power of the child he is today. This is the vision that we must have.

A man does not just happen; he does not just grow like a flower. A child does not act as an adult. We apply our energies, our maturity, to do something, but a child acts in accordance with nature in order to construct a man.

A man does not just happen; he does not just grow like a flower. A child does not act as an adult. We apply our energies, our maturity, to do something, but a child acts in accordance with nature in order to construct a man.- Maria Montessori quotes

Free activity makes children happy. We can see how happy they are, but it is not the fact that they are happy that is important; the important thing is that a child can construct a man through this free activity.

Free activity makes children happy. We can see how happy they are, but it is not the fact that they are happy that is important; the important thing is that a child can construct a man through this free activity.

When the child has mastered equilibrium, he needs to practice it through exercise, so that his sense of balance may be perfected. It is only logical that a child must walk if he is to do this.

When the child has mastered equilibrium, he needs to practice it through exercise, so that his sense of balance may be perfected. It is only logical that a child must walk if he is to do this.- Maria Montessori quotes

We must respect the child and he must understand that he is respected. He needs to be prepared for everything that is going to be done for him.

We must respect the child and he must understand that he is respected. He needs to be prepared for everything that is going to be done for him.

Democracy begins at birth. The child must know what is going to happen to him, that he will not be seized suddenly, that his permission will be asked first.

Democracy begins at birth. The child must know what is going to happen to him, that he will not be seized suddenly, that his permission will be asked first.

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

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

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, “The children are now working as if I did not exist.”

The greatest sign of success for a teacher is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."

Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.

Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of education.

Within the child lies the fate of the future.

Within the child lies the fate of the future.- Maria Montessori quotes

Of all things, love is the most potent.

Of all things, love is the most potent.

No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.

No social problem is as universal as the oppression of the child.

Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life.

Do not erase the designs the child makes in the soft wax of his inner life- Maria Montessori quotes.

The man is understood and respected, but not the child. We must respect the child, too. We must handle his body with great care, because he is a potential man.

The man is understood and respected, but not the child. We must respect the child, too. We must handle his body with great care, because he is a potential man.

The things [the child] sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.

The things [the child] sees are not just remembered; they form a part of his soul.

Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.

Respect all the reasonable forms of activity in which the child engages and try to understand them.- Maria Montessori quotes

To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator.

To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator.

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

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

The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.

The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.- Maria Montessori quotes

The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one’s self.

The essence of independence is to be able to do something for one's self.

It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.

It is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each child the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.

We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected to each other to form one whole unity.

We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected to each other to form one whole unity.- Maria Montessori quotes

The best instruction is that which uses the fewest words sufficient for the task.

The best instruction is that which uses the fewest words sufficient for the task.

Children become like the things they love.

Children become like the things they love.- Maria Montessori quotes

My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding from secondary school to University but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity and effort of will.

My vision of the future is no longer of people taking exams and proceeding from secondary school to University but of passing from one stage of independence to a higher, by means of their own activity and effort of will.

Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.

Only through freedom and environmental experience is it practically possible for human development to occur.

The greatest help you can give your children is the freedom to go about their own work in their own way, for in this matter your child knows better than you.

The greatest help you can give your children is the freedom to go about their own work in their own way, for in this matter your child knows better than you.

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

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

The child should love everything that he learns, for his mental and emotional growths are linked. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear, striking his imagination. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting the educationalist will disappear.

The child should love everything that he learns, for his mental and emotional growths are linked. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear, striking his imagination. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting the educationalist will disappear.- Maria Montessori quotes

Because the teacher respects each child and refrains from interference, the children treat one another with the same respect and kindness.

Because the teacher respects each child and refrains from interference, the children treat one another with the same respect and kindness.

Above all, it is the education of adolescents that is important, because adolescence is the time when the child enters on the state of adulthood and becomes a member of society.

Above all, it is the education of adolescents that is important, because adolescence is the time when the child enters on the state of adulthood and becomes a member of society.

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

A man is not what he is because of the teachers he has had, but because of what he has done.- Maria Montessori quotes

A three-year-old educated according to Montessori pedagogy becomes a master of his hand and undertakes with a joy a variety of human activities. These activities allow him to develop the power of concentration.

A three-year-old educated according to Montessori pedagogy becomes a master of his hand and undertakes with a joy a variety of human activities. These activities allow him to develop the power of concentration.

Teach by teaching, not by correcting.

Teach by teaching, not by correcting.

Children have an absorbent mind. They absorb knowledge from the environment without fatigue.

Children have an absorbent mind. They absorb knowledge from the environment without fatigue.- Maria Montessori quotes

To let the child do as he likes when he has not developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.

To let the child do as he likes when he has not developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom.

In giving freedom and independence to the child, we free a worker who is impelled to act and who cannot live except by his activity, because this is the form of existence of all living beings.

In giving freedom and independence to the child, we free a worker who is impelled to act and who cannot live except by his activity, because this is the form of existence of all living beings.- Maria Montessori quotes

We habitually serve children; and this is not only an act of servility toward them, but it is dangerous, since it tends to suffocate their useful, spontaneous activity.

We habitually serve children; and this is not only an act of servility toward them, but it is dangerous, since it tends to suffocate their useful, spontaneous activity.- Maria Montessori quotes

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

The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn.

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.

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 real purpose of education is to prepare the orientation for future generations, who will progress to a new plane.

The real purpose of education is to prepare the orientation for future generations, who will progress to a new plane.- Maria Montessori quotes

There are many who hold, as I do, that 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.

There are many who hold, as I do, that 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.

What the hand does the mind remembers.

What the hand does the mind remembers.- Maria Montessori quotes

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

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

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

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

The more the capacity to concentrate is developed, the more often the profound tranquility in work is achieved, then the clearer will be the manifestation of discipline within the child.

The more the capacity to concentrate is developed, the more often the profound tranquility in work is achieved, then the clearer will be the manifestation of discipline within the child.

The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task.

The best instruction is that which uses the least words sufficient for the task.

The child is much more spiritually elevated than is usually supposed. He often suffers, not from too much work, but from work that is unworthy of him.

The child is much more spiritually elevated than is usually supposed. He often suffers, not from too much work, but from work that is unworthy of him.- Maria Montessori quotes

Education demands, then, only this: the utilization of the inner powers of the child for his own instruction.

Education demands, then, only this: the utilization of the inner powers of the child for his own instruction.

The instructions of the teacher consist then merely in a hint, a touch—enough to give a start to the child. The rest develops of itself.

The instructions of the teacher consist then merely in a hint, a touch—enough to give a start to the child. The rest develops of itself.- Maria Montessori quotes

The word education must not be understood in the sense of teaching but of assisting the psychological development of the child.

The word education must not be understood in the sense of teaching but of assisting the psychological development of the child.

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 refine his senses through an exercise of attention, comparison and judgment.

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 refine his senses through an exercise of attention, comparison and judgment.

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.

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.

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.

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.- Maria Montessori quotes

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens.

The environment itself will teach the child, if every error he makes is manifest to him, without the intervention of a parent or teacher, who should remain a quiet observer of all that happens.- Maria Montessori quotes

Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.

Our care of the child should be governed, not by the desire to make him learn things, but by the endeavor always to keep burning within him that light which is called intelligence.

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?

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?

We must, therefore, quit our roles as jailers and instead take care to prepare an environment in which we do as little as possible to exhaust the child with our surveillance and instruction.

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 quotes

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.

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.

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.

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 quotes

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.

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.

To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator.

To stimulate life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the first duty of the educator.

Infancy is a period of true importance, because, when we want to infuse new ideas, to modify or better the habits and customs of a people, to breathe new vigor into its national traits, we must use the child as our vehicle; for little can be accomplished with adults.

Infancy is a period of true importance, because, when we want to infuse new ideas, to modify or better the habits and customs of a people, to breathe new vigor into its national traits, we must use the child as our vehicle; for little can be accomplished with adults.- Maria Montessori quotes

The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.

The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.

Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.

Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation.

The development of the individual can be described as a succession of new births at consecutively higher levels.

The development of the individual can be described as a succession of new births at consecutively higher levels.- Maria Montessori quotes

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.

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.

Rewards and punishments, to speak frankly, are the desk of the soul, that is, a means of enslaving a child’s spirit, and better suited to provoke than to prevent deformities.

Rewards and punishments, to speak frankly, are the desk of the soul, that is, a means of enslaving a child's spirit, and better suited to provoke than to prevent deformities.

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.

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 quotes

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.

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.

Discipline is born when the child concentrates his attention on some object that attracts him and which provides him not only with a useful exercise but with a control of error. Thanks to these exercises, a wonderful integration takes place in the infant soul, as a result of which the child becomes calm, radiantly happy, busy, forgetful of himself and, in consequence, indifferent to prizes or material, rewards.

Discipline is born when the child concentrates his attention on some object that attracts him and which provides him not only with a useful exercise but with a control of error. Thanks to these exercises, a wonderful integration takes place in the infant soul, as a result of which the child becomes calm, radiantly happy, busy, forgetful of himself and, in consequence, indifferent to prizes or material, rewards.

Imitation is the tool given by nature to children to help them adapt to the particular place where they were born and that enables them to adapt to the customs of their specific environment.

Imitation is the tool given by nature to children to help them adapt to the particular place where they were born and that enables them to adapt to the customs of their specific environment.- Maria Montessori quotes

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

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

Praise, help, or even a look, may be enough to interrupt him, or destroy the activity. … The great principle which brings success to the teacher is this: as soon as concentration has begun, act as if the child does not exist.

Praise, help, or even a look, may be enough to interrupt him, or destroy the activity. ... The great principle which brings success to the teacher is this: as soon as concentration has begun, act as if the child does not exist.- Maria Montessori quotes

The exercises, which children do, help their adaptation to the environment. The first adaptation to the environment is to become conscious of it. To become conscious, they need to acquire knowledge. Children acquire knowledge through experience in the environment.

The exercises, which children do, help their adaptation to the environment. The first adaptation to the environment is to become conscious of it. To become conscious, they need to acquire knowledge. Children acquire knowledge through experience in the environment.

Here then is the essential principle of education: to teach details is to bring confusion; to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge.

Here then is the essential principle of education: to teach details is to bring confusion; to establish the relationship between things is to bring knowledge.

It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed. Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigour of a starving man.

It is through appropriate work and activities that the character of the child is transformed. Work influences his development in the same way that food revives the vigour of a starving man.- Maria Montessori quotes

We must make of the future generation, powerful men, and by that we mean men who are independent and free.

We must make of the future generation, powerful men, and by that we mean men who are independent and free.

Adults have not understood children or adolescents and they are, as a consequence, in continual conflict with them. … The adult must find within himself the still unknown error that prevents him from seeing the child as he is.

Adults have not understood children or adolescents and they are, as a consequence, in continual conflict with them. ... The adult must find within himself the still unknown error that prevents him from seeing the child as he is.

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master. We then become witnesses to the development of the human soul; the emergence of the New Man who will no longer be the victim of events but, thanks to his clarity of vision, will become able to direct and to mold the future of mankind.

We teachers can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master. We then become witnesses to the development of the human soul; the emergence of the New Man who will no longer be the victim of events but, thanks to his clarity of vision, will become able to direct and to mold the future of mankind.- Maria Montessori quotes

The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator.

The child is truly a miraculous being, and this should be felt deeply by the educator.

It is interesting to notice that where life is simple and natural and where the children participate in the adult’s life, they are calm and happy.

It is interesting to notice that where life is simple and natural and where the children participate in the adult’s life, they are calm and happy.

The child does not work in order to move or in order to become intelligent. He works to adapt to his environment. It is essential that he has many experiences in the environment if he is to do this.

The child does not work in order to move or in order to become intelligent. He works to adapt to his environment. It is essential that he has many experiences in the environment if he is to do this.- Maria Montessori quotes

It is not enough to see that the child gets good food, good physical care, and enough sleep, because development needs activity too. Experience in the environment is necessary because everyone must be adapted to the environment.

It is not enough to see that the child gets good food, good physical care, and enough sleep, because development needs activity too. Experience in the environment is necessary because everyone must be adapted to the environment.

There is an age when children play; we call it the age of play. But what is play if not to do those things which entail the movement of the hands? Children need to touch, to move all the things which they find in the environment.

There is an age when children play; we call it the age of play. But what is play if not to do those things which entail the movement of the hands? Children need to touch, to move all the things which they find in the environment.

Liberty is not to be free to do anything one likes; it is to be able to act without help.

Liberty is not to be free to do anything one likes; it is to be able to act without help.- Maria Montessori quotes

Whilst moving the objects used in our sensory exercises, the children’s hands are being prepared for all the actions necessary for writing.

Whilst moving the objects used in our sensory exercises, the children's hands are being prepared for all the actions necessary for writing.

The children must be attached to the material; if they are attached to the teacher, they cannot be independent.

The children must be attached to the material; if they are attached to the teacher, they cannot be independent.

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

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

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.

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.

We make learning difficult for children by trying to teach them by means of grown-up methods; the natural and happy way for children to learn, however, is by touching and moving solid objects, not by trying to memorize rules.

We make learning difficult for children by trying to teach them by means of grown-up methods; the natural and happy way for children to learn, however, is by touching and moving solid objects, not by trying to memorize rules.- Maria Montessori quotes

Let these quotes inspire you to foster a learning environment where every student thrives and is fueled by curiosity, independence, and a love for lifelong learning.

For more Maria Montessori quotes and Maria Montessori classroom influence, check out our guide to Montessori furniture and the best Montessori toys.

Come discuss Maria Montessori quotes and education in general in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.



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