Books Header

Books by Maria Montessori

Education for a New World

Maria Montessori

The purpose of this book is to expound and defend the great powers of the child, and to help teachers to a new outlook which will change their task from drudgery to joy, from repression to collaboration with nature ... Already the psychic life in the new-born has aroused great interest, scientists and psychologists having made observations of babies from three hours to five days after birth. The conclusion is that the first two years of life are the most important ... So here begins a new path, wherein it will not be the teacher who teaches the child, but the child who teaches the teacher.

Selected Quotes from Education for a New World

A teacher said a word rapidly in passing, and on return saw it had been written with moveable letters. For these mites of four, once was enough, though a child of seven requires much repetition before he grasps the word correctly. All this was due to that special period of sensitivity; the mind was like soft wax, susceptible at this age to impressions which could not be taken in at a later stage, when this special malleability would have disappeared.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 5
It is a mental chemistry that takes place in the child, producing a chemical transformation. These impressions not only penetrate the mind of the child, they form it; they become incarnated, for the child makes his own 'mental flesh' in using the things that are in his environment. We have called this type of mind the 'absorbent mind' and it is difficult for us to conceive the magnitude of its powers.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 14
If education were to continue along the old lines of mere transmission of knowledge, the problem would be insoluble and there would be no hope for the world. Alone a scientific enquiry into human personality can lead us to salvation...
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 1
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
Education for a New World, p. 35
We had seen that nature prepares indirectly the embryo; she issues no orders until the organs have been prepared for obedience. Character can be built only in the same way. Nothing is gained by mere imitation or forced obedience; there must be inner preparation by which obedience becomes possible, and such preparation is indirect. Very clearly stands out the necessity for a prepared environment for children, and freedom wherein the soul can expand its powers.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 71
...at birth all children are alike, and need the same treatment or education during the stage of embryonic growth, of mental incarnation.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 23
Psychically speaking, at birth there is nothing at all—zero! Indeed, not only psychically, for at birth the child is almost paralytic... These great powers of the child... were hitherto hidden under the cloak of motherhood, in the sense that people said that it was the mother who taught her child to talk, walk and speak. But it is not the mother, but the child himself, who spontaneously does these things.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 13
At birth he frees himself from a prison, the mother's body, and achieves independence of the functions of the mother.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 33
The chief characteristic of the human babe is intelligence, unlike the other animals who only need to awaken the instincts towards their behaviour. The human child's intelligence has to take in the present of an evolving life which goes back hundreds of thousands of years in its civilisation, and which has stretching before it a future of hundreds of thousands of millions of years.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 31
It is a recognised fact that this is an age of maximum effort, which should be supported, and further that children show an instinct of imitation.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 44
So the logic of natural development is seen: first the child prepares his instruments, hands and feet, then he gets strength by exercise, and next looks at what other people are doing, and sets to work in imitation, fitting himself for life and freedom.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 43
We must not help the child to walk, and if his hands wants to work, we must give him motives of activity, and leave him to proceed to ever greater conquests of independence.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 42
If salvation and help are to come, it is from the child, for the child is the constructor of man and so of society. The child is endowed with an inner power which can guide us to a more enlightened future.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 1
Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 1
No toys for children, but houses for them; not toys for them, but land on which they can work with small tools; not dolls for children, but real other children and a social life in which they can act for themselves.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 65
...as soon as concentration appears (in a student), the teacher should pay no attention, as if that child did not exist. Even if two children want the same material, they should be left to settle the problem for themselves unless they call for the teacher's aid.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 88
Man has abandoned the natural path of life for the fatal way of civilisation...The child is entirely in the care of the adults, and they, unless lighted by wisdom of nature or science, will present the greatest obstacle in the child's life.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 63
The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, spread over a specially prepared environment, and then refraining from obtrusive interference. ...teachers can only help the great work that is being done, as servants help the master.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 3
We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 69
This strength of imagination in the child under six is usually expended on toys and fairy tales, but surely we can give him real things to imagine about, so putting him in more accurate relation with his environment.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 73
The child has his own laws of growth, and if we want to help him grow, we must follow him instead of imposing ourselves on him.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 59
In those mysterious places of the brain is a god, a sleeping self, who seems to be awakened by the music of the human voice, a divine call, setting fibres in vibration.
Maria Montessori
Education for a New World, p. 43