The selfsame procedure which zoology, a branch of the natural sciences, applies to the study of animals, anthropology must apply to the study of man; and by doing so, it enrolls itself as a science in the field of nature.
The teacher, in short, can use reading to introduce her pupils to the most varied subjects; and the moment they have been thus started, they can go on to any limit guided by the single passion for reading.
Books are mute as far as sound is concerned. It follows that reading aloud is a combination of two distinct operations, of two ‘languages.’ It is something far more complex than speaking and reading taken separately by themselves.
If an educational act is to be efficacious, it will be only that 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.
There are two ‘faiths’ which can uphold humans: faith in God and faith in oneself. And these two faiths should exist side by side: the first belongs to one’s inner life, the second to one’s life in society.
Temptation, if it is not to conquer, must not fall like a bomb against another bomb of instantaneous moral explosions, but against the strong walls of an impregnable fortress strongly built up, stone by stone, beginning at that distant day when the foundations were first laid.
Moral Education is the source of that spiritual equilibrium on which everything else depends and which may be compared to that physical equilibrium or sense of balance, without which it is impossible to stand upright or to move into any other position.
I have for many years interested myself in the study of children from three years upwards. Many have urged me to continue my studies on the same lines with older children. But what I have felt to be most vital is the need for more careful and particularized study of the tiny child.
It is not true that I invented what is called the Montessori Method… I have studied the child; I have taken what the child has given me and expressed it, and that is what is called the Montessori Method.
Indeed there are powers in the small child that are far greater than is generally realized, because it is in this period that the construction, the building-up, of man takes place, for at birth, psychically speaking, there is nothing at all – zero!
Through machinery, man can exert tremendous powers almost as fantastic as if he were the hero of a fairy tale. Through machinery, man can travel with an ever increasing velocity; he can fly through the air and go beneath the surface of the ocean.
We await the successsive births in the soul of the child. We give all possible material, that nothing may lack to the groping soul, and then we watch for the perfect faculty to come, safeguarding the child from interruption so that it may carry its efforts through.