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1110 College NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Happy Birthday Maria Montessori!


Happy Birthday Maria Montessori!

Elizabeth Topliffe

You say it’s your birthday
It’s my birthday too, yeah
--Paul McCartney

Today, Stepping Stones Montessori School celebrates the birth of Maria Montessori on August 31, 1870. Maria Montessori was a scientist, an observer, an innovator, and possessed the poise and persistence to transfer her observations into actions and methods.

In her day, Maria Montessori was a radical thinker. Many of her observations and conclusions have been proven with medical technology decades after the fact. Some of those conclusions include:

  1. Cognition and physical movement are intertwined.
  2. Children’s needs differ at points of natural development, providing sensitive periods for learning specific tasks and ideas.
  3. Adolescence continues through age twenty-four.
  4. Extrinsic rewards get in the way of becoming self-motivated.

We invite you to share in this special day by sharing a favorite quote from Dr. Montessori or to share why the beauty of the Montessori classroom resonates with you. Here are a few from our faculty:

 “An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking: It involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.”

--(From Education and Peace)[submitted by Beth Goodrich, Lead Guide in the Dogwood Room]

“We discovered that education is not something that the teacher does, but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.”

--(From The Secret of Childhood) [submitted by Holly Olejnik, Lead Guide in the Hawthorn Room]

“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.” --

--(From From Childhood to Adolescence) [submitted by Margaret Venema, Co-Lead Guide in the Willow Room]

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadow is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them in the morning.”

--(From The Discovery of the Child) [submitted by Jenn Porter, Lead Guide in the White Cedar Room]

“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.”

--(From The Absorbent Mind) [submitted by Emily Jacobson, Lead Guide in the Tulip Tree Room]

“The person who is developing freely and naturally arrives at a spiritual equilibrium in which he/she is a master of their own actions, just as one who has acquired physical poise can move freely.”

--(From The Montessori Method) [submitted by Jan Reed, Co-Lead Guide of the Willow Room]

“Joy, feeling one's own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul.”

--(From From Childhood to Adolescence) [submitted by Elizabeth Topliffe, Head of School]