University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
“Man seems to have two embryonic periods. One is prenatal, like that of the animals; the other is postnatal and only man has this.” Newly born human are dependent on others for a really long periods unlike other young mammals that can within a short period after birth can stand, walk and find food for themselves. Humans are born with potentials and animals with instincts. Each child, therefore, is given the possibility of becoming a unique individual in his own right. Dr Marie Montessori said “It follows that the new-born child has to do a piece of formative work which corresponds in the psychological sphere to the one just done by the embryo in the physical sphere. Before him there is a period of life different from that which he led in the womb; yet still unlike that of the man he is to become.”
Dr Marie Montessori termed the new born child’s as a spiritual embryo .
The embryo has all the potential to attain the norm of a species in a preplaned environment .Here the term spritural means •Intelligence
Apart from potential all the other factors are at an embryonic stage i.e need to be developed
She has said that the psycho embryo of a child needs a womb similar to the physical one to develop and grow to its full potential and it is the preplaned environment that acts an a womb for the psyhic embryo to flourish. The embryo has all the potential or the capacity to attain the level of a full grown species in a preplanned environment. Similarly the physco embryo also needs a woob to develop and that is the environment that is provided to the child .All the attributes of the personality are there in the womb that need to be developed . The will power of the child helps in building the psychic embryo . Example…the child wil become what he wants to become. The environment that is provided to him will determine the quality of his being..
Another example is a rose bud will bloom into a rose flower following a set pattern but the quality of the flower will depend on the environment . Dr Marie Montessori “The first care given to the newborn babe – overriding all others- must be a care for his mental life and not just for his bodily life, which is the rule today.”
The child has to follow a long process to become an adult and have a unified personality i.e a holistic one in which he needs to develop all the attributes which are closely interrelated to one another . they are
To become an adult the child needs to help himself to grow. The child needs to work on himself and construct his personality. This is a process of self-construction for the child. Here the adult acts in two ways as a preparer of the environment for the child as well as the communicator.
The adult provides aids of construction to the child which will help the child in the process of his development these can be external aids or internal aids. External Aids : providing a predetermined environment to the chicd in which the child has the freedom to explore. Internal Aids : the internal aids can be further classified into two categories A)The Absorbent Mind :
During the formative years from birth 0-6, the child has a mind which is different to ours. It is an absorbent mind, capable of incredible powers of absorption, which is just as well, because. This is a period of adaptation for the child – the developmental task the child must complete at this stage is the construction of him/her self, and their adaptation to the environment they find themselves in. “montesorri noted that this unique early learning capacity is most formative in child if right conditions & help is given ”
CONSCIOUS AND UNCONCIOUS STAGE: Montessori saw the absorbent mind in two stages. During the first phase, from birth to three years old, the young child unknowingly or unconsciously acquires his basic abilities. She called it the period of unconscious stage or the unconscious absorbent mind. The child’s work during this period is to become independent from the adult for his basic human functions. He learns to speak, to walk, to gain control of his hands and to master his bodily functions. Once these basic skills are incorporated, then by about three years old, he moves into the next stage of the absorbent mind, which Montessori called the period of conscious stage or the conscious absorbent mind. During this period, the child’s mathematical mind compels him to perfect in himself that which is now there. His fundamental task during this phase is freedom; freedom to move purposefully, freedom to choose and freedom to concentrate.
B)Sensitive Period :- it is the period when the child shows the inclination to learn. This concept was first discovered by a dutch biologist ,Hugo De Varies who first noticed this sensitive period in incests. He discovered that the female butterfly instinctively lays her eggs in sheltered spot in a tree trunk that when the eggs are hatched the catterpillars can eat the most tender part of leaves which are at the end of the branch. He noticed that the catterpillars are sensitive towards light which attract then to the end of the branch where they find food to satisfy their hunger. Aas the catter Pillar grows they loose their sensitivity to light . Dr Marie Montessori was convinced that this characterstic is found in children too The sensitive period is when there are signals to the sense to learn a particular skill is highlighted. Example :- when a child learns to walk..he wants to keep on walking till the time he has gained perfection in it and then he moves on to the next skill. Once the perfection is achieved the sensitivity is gone ,this passion to learn a sskill is termed as Horme.. the sensitivity periods are transitory and pop up according to will
1 Sensitivity of order
2 Learning through 5 senses
3 Sensitivity to small objects
4 sensitivity to coordination of movement
5 Sensitivity to language.
6 sensitivity to social aspect of life.
Sensitivity to coordination of movement-walking (2.5-4 years)
The child enters into this period into at about 2.5till about 4 years of age .co-ordinationtion of movements means bringing the body under the control of the will This is also the time for movement. Children want to explore their environment and also their bodies to master climbing up and down, walk and run; gradually skip and hop and other kind of dancing movement.
ROLE OF ADULT:
Child starts walking at the age of 2.5 year and reach perfection 3.5 so after this age i.e 3.5 an adult must guide or tell him the manner of walking.
Take them to places and offer opportunities where they can explore these things safely and with fun.
You may have to put gate, or hold their hands when crossing the road but also give them chances where they may explore them with freedom.
The rooms must be properly maintained providing a good space for the child to walk ,the furniture should be soft with round edges. Adults must not provide a walker as the ability to walk is hindered.
EFFECT OF STARVATION:
A child goes through the sensitive periods at certain stages in his life; there is a starting point, peak and end to all the sensitive periods. During these sensitive periods the child is able to absorb huge amounts of knowledge without fatigue. The child in a sensitive period will be attracted to and interested in work and movements of that sensitive period, he will focus and be completely absorbed in things of that particular sensitivity excluding everything else in the environment.AS the period does not re-occur, it now turns into a difficult task where one has to be taught. This teaching can never compare to the absorbing during a sensitive period, the child will not gain half as much from the teaching experience as he would have from the sensitive period been met and nourished. When sensitive periods are starved and not met there are more effects than just missed intellectual learning. This could lead to vandalism and aggression, violent reactions which are often put down to naughtiness and temper.
And if this sensitivity to movement is starved the child may not properly walk
Or may not develop a proper balance while walking or standing…The clild when he grows to proper left out in physical activates in school like sports day. As an adult he may not be able to qualify for armed forces, police and Navy admissions.