“The seed of mathematics must be very, very carefully sown. We must not confuse the trunk of the tree with the branches. We must certainly not expect good branches to grow on a dead tree. Many people reduce mathematics to certain feats of memory. If we make the child learn that three and three make six, or two times four make eight, we are constructing a tree, by nailing small dead pieces of wood to a larger piece of dead wood so that it resembles the trunk of a tree with branches attached.
In doing so, we have only created an illusion. It is no tree, only a cross. It will bear no fruit. It will give no life or joy, only suffering. Instead if we plant the seed carefully, we can watch the little plant take firm root, sprout leaves, and grow strong branches with pleasure.”
Montessori, Creative Development of the Child, Vol.2, p. 23, Kalekshetra