Contents
Home > Quotes

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

2. The organization of psychical life begins with the characteristic phenomenon of attention.

3. The process by which the human personality is formed is the secret work of incarnation.

4. 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.

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

6. Knowing what we must do is neither fundamental nor difficult, but to comprehend which presumptions and vain prejudices we must rid ourselves of in order to be able to educate our children is most difficult.

7. To give a child liberty is not to abandon him to himself.

8. 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.

9. Any child who is self-sufficient, who can tie his shoes, dress or undress himself, reflects in his joy and sense of achievement the image of human dignity, which is derived from a sense of independence.

10. The life of the spirit prepares the dynamic power for daily life, and, on its side, daily life encourages thought by means of ordinary work.

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

12. The most difficult thing to make clear to the new teacher is that because the child progresses, she must restrain herself and avoid giving directions, even if at first they are expected; all her faith must repose in his latent powers.

13. Certainly there is something that compels a teacher to advise very young students continually; ultimately she must be resigned to quelling every bit of vanity, or she will obtain no results.

14. 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.

15. It is necessary, then, to give the child the possibility of developing according to the laws of his nature, so that he can become strong, and, having become strong, can do even more than we dared hope for him.

16. It is almost possible to say that there is a mathematical relationship between the beauty of his surroundings and the activity of the child; he will make discoveries rather more voluntarily in a gracious setting than in an ugly one.

17. 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.

18. A felicitous environment that guides the children and offers them the means to exercise their own faculties permits the teacher to absent herself temporarily. The creation of such an environment is already the realization of great progress.

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

20. We must support as much as possible the child's desires for activity; not wait on him, but educate him to be independent.

21. If we have neither sufficient experience nor love to enable us to distinguish the fine and delicate expressions of the child's life, if we do not know how to respect them, then we perceive them only when they are manifested violently.

22. Our goal is not so much the imparting of knowledge as the unveiling and developing of spiritual energy.

23. We do not believe in the in the educative power of words and commands alone, but seek cautiously, and almost without the child's knowing it, to guide his natural activity.

24. We must help the child to liberate himself from his defects without making him feel his weakness.

25. 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.

26. It is not the child as a physical but as a psychic being that can provide a strong impetus to the betterment of mankind.

27. There is a part of a child's soul that has always been unknown but which must be known. With a spirit of sacrifice and enthusiasm we must go in search, like those who travel to foreign lands and tear up mountains in their search for hidden gold.

28. The adult must find within himself the still unknown error that prevents him from seeing the child as he is.

29. In their dealings with children adults do not become egotistic but egocentric. They look upon everything pertaining to a child's soul from their own point of view and, consequently, their misapprehensions increase.

30. There is in the soul of a child an impenetrable secret that is gradually revealed as it develops.

31. Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared for his mission.

32. No one can be free unless he is independent: therefore, the first, active manifestations of the child's individual liberty must be so guided that through this activity he may arrive at independence.

33. 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.

34. The liberty of the child should have as its limit the collective interest.

35. The prize and the punishment are incentives toward unnatural or forced effort, and therefore we cannot speak of the natural development of the child in connection with them.

36. The first essential for the child's development is concentration. The child who concentrates is immensely happy.

37. The lesson must be presented in such a way that the personality of the teacher shall disappear. There shall remain in evidence only the object to which she wishes to call the attention of the child.

38. The exercises of practical life are formative activities, a work of adaptation to the environment. Such adaptation to the environment and efficient functioning therein is the very essence of a useful education.

39. But to ensure the psychic phenomena of growth, we must prepare the environment in a definite manner, and from this environment offer the child the external means directly necessary for him.

40. Experienced teachers understand better that liberty begins when the life that must be developed in the child is initiated, and they possess a tact which greatly facilitates orientation in the initial period.

41. The development of the child during the first three years after birth is unequaled in intensity and importance by any period that precedes or follows in the whole life of the child.

42. The teacher's skill in not interfering comes with practice, like everything else, but it never comes easily for even to help can be a source of pride.

43. Ego identity gains real strength only from wholehearted and consistent recognition of real accomplishment.

44. One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child itself.

45. But if for the physical life it is necessary to have the child exposed to the vivifying forces of nature, it is also necessary for his psychical life to place the soul of the child in contact with creation.

46. We are here to offer to this life, which came into the world by itself, the means necessary for development, and having done that we must await this development with respect.

47. Since adults have no concept of the importance of physical activity for the child, they put a damper on it as a cause of disturbance.

48. The training of the teacher who is to help life is something far more than the learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit.

49. The real preparation for education is the study of one's self.

50. This idea, that life acts of itself, and that in order to study it, to divine it's secrets or to direct its activity, it is necessary to observe it and to understand it without interfering - this idea, I say, is very difficult for anyone to assimilate.

51. 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.

52. Now, child life is not an abstraction; it is the life of individual children. There exists only one real manifestation: the living individual; and toward single individuals, one by one observed, education must direct itself.

53. The teacher's first duty is to watch over the environment, and this takes precedence over all the rest. Its influence is indirect, but unless it be well done there will be no effective and permanent results of any kind, physical, intellectual or spiritual.

54. It is well to cultivate a friendly feeling towards error, to treat it as a companion inseparable from our lives, as something having a purpose which it truly has.

55. To aid life, leaving it free, however, to unfold itself, that is the basic task of the educator.

56. And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.

57. The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.

58. We then found that individual activity is the one factor that stimulates and produces development, and that this is not more true for the little ones of preschool age than it is for upper school children.

59. 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.

60. The activity of the child has always been looked upon as an expression of his vitality. But his activity is really the work he performs in building up the man he is to become. It is the incarnation of the human spirit.

61. The training of the teacher is something far more than a learning of ideas. It includes the training of character; it is a preparation of the spirit.

62. The studies which have been made of early infancy leave no room for doubt: the first two years are important forever, because in that period, one passes from being nothing into being something.

63. The child becomes a person through work.

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

65. Education should no longer be mostly imparting of knowledge, but must take a new path, seeking the release of human potentialities.

66. The role of education is the interest the child profoundly in an external activity to which he will give all of his potential.

67. Education is not something which the teacher does. It is a natural process which develops spontaneously.

68. Education between the ages of six and twelve is not a direct continuation of that which has gone before, although it is built upon that foundation.

69. 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.

70. The elementary child has reached a new level of development. Before he was interested in things: working with his hands, learning their names. Now he is interested mainly in the how and why... the problem of cause and effect.

71. Schools as they are today, are adapted neither to the needs of adolescence nor to the time in which we live.

72. 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.

73. The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth.

74. It is not enough for the teacher to love the child. She must first love and understand the universe. She must prepare herself, and truly work at it.

75. When the child goes out, it is the world itself that offers itself to him. Let us take the child out to show him real things instead of making objects which represent ideas and closing them up in cupboards.

76. Experience is a key for the intensification of instruction given inside the school.

77. It is self-evident that the possession of and contact with real things brings, above all, a real quantity of knowledge.

78. There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all of the life to be found around them in a real forest.

79. How often is the soul of man - especially in childhood - deprived because he is not allowed to come in contact with nature.

80. The needs of mankind are universal. Our means of meeting them create the richness and diversity of the planet. The Montessori child should come to relish the texture of that diversity.

81. 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.

82. Our aim is not only to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorize, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his innermost core.

83. 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.

84. If the idea of the universe is presented to the child in the right way, it will do more for him than just arouse his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any interest and more satisfying.

85. To do well, it is necessary to aim at giving the elementary age child an idea of all fields of study, not in precise detail, but an impression. The idea is to sow the seeds of knowledge at this age, when a sort of sensitive period for the imagination exists.

86. Bring the child to the consciousness of his own dignity and he will feel free.

87. We see no limit to what should be offered to the child, for his will be an immense field of chosen activity.

88. The teacher's task is no small or easy one! He has to prepare a huge amount of knowledge to satisfy the child's mental hunger, and he is not, like the ordinary teacher, limited by a syllabus.

89. Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgment, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear.

90. The first duty of an education is to stir up life, but leave it free to develop.

91. Schools cannot start too early to encourage the refinement of taste in children. To present for their learning the fine gradations between right and wrong, and to support their treasuring of a sense of the past.

92. Education starts at birth.

93. A new education from birth onwards must be built up.Education must be reconstructed and based on the law of nature and not on the preconceived notions and prejudices of adult society.

94. Let us leave the life free to develop within the limits of the good, and let us observe this inner life developing. This is the whole of our mission.

95. 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.

96. To keep alive that enthusiasm is the secret of real guidance, and it will not prove a difficult task, provided that the attitude towards the child's acts be that of respect, calm, and waiting, and provided that he be left free in his movements and experiences.

97. 'Wait while observing.' That is the motto of the educator.

98. Let us wait, and be always ready to share in both the joys and the difficulties which the child experiences.

99. If we could say, "We are respectful and courteous in our dealing with children, we treat them as we should like to be treated ourselves," we should have mastered a great educational principle and be setting an example of good education.

100. Our intervention in this marvelous process is indirect; we are here to offer this life, which came into the world by itself, the means necessary for it's development, and having done that we must await this development with respect.

101. 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.

102. The training of the teacher is something far more than learning ideas. It includes the training of character. It is a preparation of the spirit.

103. Only practical work and experience lead the child to maturity.

104. 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.

105. Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.

106. The child passes little by little from the unconscious to the conscious, treading always in the paths of joy and love.

107. Our care of the children should be governed not by the desire to 'make them learn things', but by the endeavor always to keep burning within them the light which is called intelligence.

108. The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it engages the child's whole personality.

109. The 'Children's House' is a garden of child culture, and we most certainly do not keep the children for so many hours in school with the idea of making students of them!

110. The first step we must take in our method is to call to the pupil. We call now to his attention, now to his interior life, now to the life he leads with others.

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

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

113. The mind of one who does not work for that which he needs, but commands it from others, grows heavy and sluggish.

114. Nature offers an interior guidance, but to develop anything in the field, continuous effort and experience are required.

115. Growth comes from activity, not from intellectual understanding.

116. The 'absorbent mind' welcomes everything, puts its hope in everything, accepts poverty equally with wealth, adopts any religion and the prejudices and habits of its countrymen, incarnating all in itself. This is the child!

117. Needless help is an actual hindrance to the development of natural forces.

118. Our servants are not our dependents, rather it is we who are dependent upon them.

119. What purpose would education serve in our days unless it helped man to a knowledge of the environment to which he has to adapt himself?

120. Character formation cannot be taught. It comes from experience and not from explanation.

121. It can be said that the period of childhood is an age of 'inner life' which leads to the developing, maturing, and perfecting of all the faculties.

122. Considering the method as a whole, we must begin our work by preparing the child for the forms of social life, and we must attract his attention to these forms.

123. At a given moment a child becomes interested in a piece of work, showing it by the expression of his face, by his intense attention, by his perseverance in the same exercise. That child has set foot upon the road leading to discipline.

124. The education of the senses has, as its aim, the refinement of the differential perception of stimuli by means of repeated exercises.

125. The sense exercises constitute a species of auto-education, which, if these exercises be many times repeated, leads to a perfecting of the child's psycho-sensory processes.

126. Children show a great attachment to the abstract subjects when they arrive at them through manual activity. They proceed to fields of knowledge hitherto held inaccessible to them, as grammar and mathematics.

127. Written language can be acquired more easily by children of four years than by those of six. While children of six usually need at least two years to learn how to write children of four years learn this second language within a few months.

128. The development of language continues, in fact, up to the age of five years, and the mind during this period is in a phase of activity regarding everything that has to do with words.

129. The ability to write will be acquired as a result of the analysis of the words each one possesses and of the activity of one's mind which is interested in such a magical conquest.

130. 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.

131. Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.

132. If a child is to be treated differently than he is today a radical change, and one upon which everything else will depend, must first be made; and that change must be made in the adult.

133. An adult who does not understand that a child needs to use his hands and does not recognize this as the first manifestation of an instinct for work can be an obstacle to the child's development.

134. It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.

135. When dealing with children there is greater need for observing than of probing.

136. It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it perhaps even to a higher form of civilization.

137. Children decide on their actions under the prompting of natural laws. If someone usurps the function of this guide the child is prevented from developing either his will or his concentration.

138. What the child achieves between three and six does not depend upon doctrine but on a divine directive which guides his spirit to construction.

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

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

141. The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behavior towards him.

142. We must help the child act, think, and will for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practiced to perfection only when working with children.

143. The child is the spiritual builder of mankind, and obstacles to his free development are the stones in the wall by which the soul of man has become imprisoned.

144. The child's first instinct is to carry out his actions by himself, without anyone helping him, and his first conscious bid for independence is made when he defends himself against those who try to do the action for him.

145. The pedagogical method of observation has for its base the liberty of the child, and liberty is activity.

146. Real freedom is a consequence of development.

147. Freedom without organization is useless. The organization of the work, therefore, is the cornerstone of this new structure. But even that organization would be in vain without the liberty to make use of it.

148. A child is a discoverer. He is an amorphous, splendid being in search of his own proper form.

149. Life is activity at its peak, and it is only through activity that the perfectionments of life can be sought and gained.

150. The hands are the instruments of man's intelligence.

151. The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself.

152. Our educational aim must be to aid the spontaneous development of the mental, spiritual and physical personality, and not to make of the child a cultured individual in the commonly accepted use of the term.

153. And herein lies the art of the educator; in knowing how to measure the action by which we help the young child's personality to develop.

154. What advice can we give to mothers? Their children need to work at an interesting occupation: they should not be helped unnecessarily, nor interrupted, once they have begun to do something intelligent.

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

156. Our schools show that children of different ages help one another. There are many things which no teacher can convey to a child of three, but a child of five can do it with ease.

157. The child's progress does not depend only on his age, but also on being free to look around him.

158. Free choice is one of the highest of all the mental processes.

159. The children must be free to choose their own occupations, just as they must never be interrupted in their spontaneous activity.

160. Choice and execution are the prerogatives and conquests of a liberated soul.

161. The first thing required of a teacher is that he be rightly disposed for his task... it is not sufficient to have a merely theoretical knowledge of education.

162. The teacher must have faith that the child will reveal himself through work.

163. We must learn how to call upon the man which lies dormant in the soul of a child.

164. The teacher must bring not only the capacity, but the desire to observe.

165. We cannot know the consequences of suffocating a spontaneous action at the time when the child is just becoming active; perhaps we suffocate life itself.

166. If the teacher cannot recognize the difference between pure impulse, and the spontaneous energies which spring to life in a tranquilized spirit, then her action will bear no fruit.

167. A teacher, by his passive attitude, removes from the children the obstacle that is created by his own activity and authority.

168. The teacher's mission has for its aim something constant and exact, bearing in mind the words, "He must grow while I diminish."

169. When the teacher shall have touched, in this way, soul for soul, each one of her pupils, a sign, a single word from her shall suffice; for each one will feel her in a living and vital way, will recognize her and will listen to her.

170. The directress must intervene to lead the child from sensations to ideas.

171. A child who is free to act not only seeks to gather sensible impressions from his environment but he also shows a love for exactitude in the carrying out of his actions.

172. Since it is through movement that the will realizes itself, we should assist a child in his attempts to put his will into act.

173. A teacher, therefore, who would think that he could prepare himself for this mission through study alone would be mistaken.

174. Work is necessary; it can be nothing less than a passion; a person is happy in accomplishment.

175. Confidences would come more easily in the years they are longed for if they were invited in the years when living was exciting and every act a great adventure.

176. Imitation is the first instinct of the awakening mind.

177. The child wants to do something sensible.

178. If children are allowed free development and given occupation to correspond with their unfolding minds their natural goodness will shine forth.

179. I don't need to teach anything to children: it is they who, placed in a favorable environment, teach me.

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

181. The didactic materials control every error. It is precisely in these errors that the educational importance of the material lies.

182. The materials, in fact, do not offer to the child the content of the mind, but the order for that content.

183. Not upon the ability of the teacher does education rest, but upon the didactic system. When the control and correction of errors is yielded to the materials, there remains for the teacher nothing but to observe.

184. The education of the senses makes men observers.

185. The senses, being explorers of the world, open the way to knowledge.

186. 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.

187. Some students learn without having ever received any lessons, solely through listening to the lessons given to others.

188. An educational method which cultivates and protects the inner activities of the child is not a question which concerns merely the school or the teachers; it is a universal question.

189. The education of our day is rich in methods, aims and social ends, but one must still say that it takes no account of life itself.

190. Education, as today conceived, is separated from both biological and social life.

191. One who desires to be a teacher must have an interest in humanity that connects the observer more closely than that which joins the biologist or zoologist to nature.

192. The most urgent task facing educators is to come to know this unknown child and to free it from all entanglements.

193. It is solely from a child that a man is born. An adult cannot take part in this work.

194. An adult is more definitely excluded from a child's world than the child himself is from the transcendent social world of the adult.

195. These words reveal the child's inner needs: "Help me to do it alone."

196. No adult can bear a child's burden or grow up in his stead.

197. We could study a child from every angle and know everything about him from the cells of his body to the countless details of his every operation and we would still not perceive his ultimate goal, that is, the adult he is to become.

198. Adults manifest a contempt for children which they fail to realize. Though a parent may believe his child is beautiful and perfect, a secret urge makes him act as though his child is in need of filling and correction.

199. Without realizing it an adult, with his useless assistance and hypnotic influence, substitutes himself for the child and impedes his psychic growth.

200. Sometimes very small children in a proper environment develop a skill and exactness in their work that can only surprise us.

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

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

203. 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.

204. The teacher's task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.

205. The education of our day is rich in methods, aims, and social ends, but one must still say that it takes no account of life itself.

206. The concept of an education centered upon the care of the living being alters all previous ideas. Resting no longer on a curriculum, or a timetable, education must conform to the facts of human life.

207. The child is not an inert being who owes everything he can do to us, as if he were an empty vessel that we have to fill.

208. We, also, when we speak of education are proclaiming a revolution, one in which everything we know today will be transformed.

209. Mothers, fathers, politicians: all must combine in their respect and help for this delicate work of formation, which the child carries on in the depth of a profound psychological mystery, under the tutelage of an inner guide.

210. This is the bright new hope for mankind. Not reconstruction, but help for the constructive work that the human soul is called upon to do, and to bring to fruition; a work of formation which brings out the immense potentialities with which children, the sons of men, are endowed.

211. The child has other powers than ours, and the creation he achieves is no small one; it is everything.

212. This the new path on which education has been put; to help the mind in its process of development, to aid its energies and strengthen its many powers.

213. The child's nature is to aim directly and energetically at functional independence.

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

215. The child seeks for independence by means of work; an independence of body and mind.

216. As I have so often said, it is true that we cannot make a genius. We can only give to each individual the chance to fulfill his potential possibilities.

217. To care for, and keep awake, the guide within every child is therefore a matter of the first importance.

218. Children become like the things they love.

219. The child builds his inmost self out of the deeply held impressions he receives.

220. Let us start with one very simple reflection: the child, unlike the adult, is not on his way to death. He is on his way to life.

221. Man is a sculptor of himself, urged by a mysterious inner force to the attainment of an ideal determined form.

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

223. No guide, no teacher can divine the intimate needs of each pupil and the time of maturation necessary to each; but only leave the child free and all this will be revealed to us under the guidance of nature.

224. The principle of liberty is not therefore a principle of abandonment, but rather one by which leading us from illusions to reality will guide us to the most positive and efficacious care of the child.

225. The secret of free development of the child consists, therefore, in organizing for him the means necessary for his internal nourishment.

226. Mind and movement are two parts of a single cycle, and movement is the superior expression.

227. The child should love everything he learns. Whatever is presented to him must be made beautiful and clear. Once this love has been kindled, all problems confronting the educationalist will disappear.

228. Do not offer the child the content of the mind, but the order for that content.

229. So here begins the new path, wherein it will not be the teacher who teaches the child, but the child who teaches the teacher.

230. The adult works to improve his environment while the child works to improve himself.

231. We are the sowers - our children are those who reap. We labor so that future generations will be better and nobler than we are.

232. The greatness of the human personality begins at the hour of birth.

233. The teacher must derive not only the capacity, but the desire, to observe natural phenomena. The teacher must understand and feel her position of observer: the activity must lie in the phenomenon.

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

235. The observation of the way in which the children pass from the first disordered movements to those which are spontaneous and ordered -- this is the book of the teacher; this is the book which must inspire her actions .

236. We can only help the work going on, as servants wait upon a master.

237. If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only one which tends to help toward the complete unfolding of life. To be thus helpful it is necessary rigorously to avoid the arrest of spontaneous movements and the imposition of arbitrary tasks.

238. Discipline must come through liberty. . . . We do not consider an individual disciplined only when he has been rendered as artificially silent as a mute and as immovable as a paralytic. He is an individual annihilated, not disciplined.

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

240. 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 . . . For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual's total development lags behind?

241. The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.

242. Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.

243. Man, as a spiritual being, has been left to the mercy of outer circumstances and is on the way to becoming a destroyer of his own constructions.

244. There is need of a syllabus which can give an understanding of the conditions of man in modern society with a cosmic vision of history and the evolution of human life.

245. Either education contributes to a movement of universal liberation by showing the way to defend and raise humanity or it becomes like one of those organs which have shriveled up by not being used during the evolution of the organism.

246. Our first teacher, therefore, will be the child himself, or rather the vital urge with the cosmic laws that lead him unconsciously.

Creative Commons License