Spiritual Embryo and Sensitive Period

1 10 2007

Sound very difficult tonight ..   quite a serious subject to talk about huh ??  ..

Spiritual Embryo and Sensitive Period are the analogy term used by Dr. Montessori to describe the most important concepts of Dr. Montessori’s understanding of the child’s development. 

Spiritual Embryo is the phase of intellectual development or a period of mental construction of the child that starts developing right after birth and continues developing to three.  

It is the non-physical growth of the child’s mind, intellect, personality, temperament, spirit and soul (from birth to three years), which Dr. Montessori thought of as being comparable to the physical growth of the embryo in the womb before birth.  The potential power of the brain is there, and as the child grows that potential will either develop, or else gradually die away.  Once this period of construction is over; what has been built wrong will remain and the child will have a defect for life.

Sensitive Period is a term adopted (from biologists working on animal instinct) by Dr. Montessori to refer to a particular periods in a child’s development when a special sensitivity towards certain factors can be observed.  Each of these periods lasts for only as long as is necessary for the child to accomplish a particular stage of development.

The education they received as small children laid the foundation for everything they benefited from later.  The intellectual capability that enables each person to succeed in his chosen profession is not given to him by teachers, however.  It is created by the child he once was.   (Montessori St Nicholas Centre – p 25)

Time is a theft.  I can’t go back to fix my Spiritual Embryo and Sensitive Period.  I am already the ‘Procreator’.  Now, I just have to watch the ‘Creator’, the child, explores the world and observe his moment of true.

Such is our duty toward the child: to give a ray of light and to go on our way  (The Montessori Method: scientific pedagogy as applied to child education in the ‘Children’s Houses’, Montessori, p.94)





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