Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.
There can be no substitute for work, neither affection nor physical well-being can replace it.
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.
There is no description, no image in any book that is capable of replacing the sight of real trees, and all the life to be found around them, in a real forest. Something emanates from those trees which speaks to the soul, something no book, no museum is capable of giving.
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.'
Many people must have noticed the intense attention given by children to the conversation of grown-ups when they cannot possibly be understanding a word of what they hear. They are trying to get hold of words, and they often demonstrate this fact by repeating joyously some word which they have been able to grasp.
If education is protection to life, you will realize that it is necessary that education accompany life during its whole course.
Speech is one of the marvels that characterize man, and also one of the most difficult spontaneous creations that have been accomplished by nature.
The ancient superficial idea of the uniform and progressive growth of the human personality has remained unaltered, and the erroneous belief has persisted that it is the duty of the adult to fashion the child according to the pattern required by society.
The greatest development is achieved during the first years of life, and therefore it is then that the greatest care should be taken. If this is done, then the child does not become a burden; he will reveal himself as the greatest marvel of nature.
The first idea the child must acquire is that of the difference between good and evil.
The person who is developing freely and naturally arrives at a spiritual equilibrium in which he is master of his actions, just as one who has acquired physical poise can move freely.
At three years of age, the child has already laid the foundations of the human personality and needs the special help of education in the school. The acquisitions he has made are such that we can say the child who enters school at three is an old man.
The possibility of observing the developments of the psychical life of the child as natural phenomena and experimental reactions transforms the school itself in action into a kind of scientific laboratory for the psychogenetic study of man.
In the first three years of life, the foundations of physical and also of psychic health are laid. In these years, the child not only increases in size but passes through great transformations. This is the age in which language and movement develop. The child must be safeguarded in order that these activities may develop freely.
The task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility and evil with activity.
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.
All work is noble; the only ignoble thing is to live without working. There is need to realize the value of work in all its forms whether manual or intellectual, to be called 'mate,' to have sympathetic understanding of all forms of activity.
The adolescent must never be treated as a child, for that is a stage of life that he has surpassed. It is better to treat an adolescent as if he had greater value than he actually shows than as if he had less and let him feel that his merits and self-respect are disregarded.
Every one in the world ought to do the things for which he is specially adapted. It is the part of wisdom to recognize what each one of us is best fitted for, and it is the part of education to perfect and utilize such predispositions. Because education can direct and aid nature but can never transform her.