Absorbent Mind.

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Absorbent Mind

A child has a special mind and Dr. M. Montessori called it “Absorbent Mind”. She thought that there is nothing more important for the man than his absorbent mind, which creates the adult and adapts him to any kind of climate, country or culture. Without the absorbent mind “…, man could never adapt himself to such different places and habits, nor evolve in his social manners, nor take up such different forms of work.” (M. Montessori 2009, “The Formation of Man” Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, part 2, chapter 3: The “Nebulae” – “The Function of The Child”, p. 57). A new born baby has to make a great adaptation to his new environment. The new-born came from this little, warm, dark and quiet place: mother’s womb, to the new world where everything is so big, bright and so noisy. In order to survive he has to get familiar with this new environment by himself and in his own way. The new born child will adapt to the place and will incarnate in himself the culture of that society where he is born. He will grow together with environment and he will take in everything what is in there by creating himself. This environment will be a part of what he will be as a person. “The mechanism of basic adaptation is simple and plain; the child incarnates in himself the environment which he finds around him, and constructs a man adapted to live in those surroundings. In order to realize this function the child lives through an initial period of psycho-embryonic construction which is found only in human beings.” (M. Montessori 2009, “The Formation of Man” Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, part 2, chapter 3: The “Nebulae” – “Adaptation”, p. 66). When a baby is born he almost has nothing and when he is 6 years old already he comes across as a very strong personality. During these first 6 years of his life the child learns so much and changes in such a great way and this opportunity is provided by absorbent mind. The child absorbs everything from the environment unconsciously without any effort. His absorbent mind never gets tired and it is so fascinating because we all know if we have studied or worked mentally for a long time we feel tired and we need a break. The mind of the child never stops and he never needs to have a break. He does not discriminate things what is easy or difficult, he does not judge, the absorption is happening spontaneously with every detail being taken in and nothing is being left out. The absorbent mind creates the personality with everything that it takes in from the environment. Every single detail taken from the surroundings somehow and in some way will be part of the child’s personality. Whatever the absorbent mind takes in from the environment is being stored in this unconscious memory called Mneme. Mneme stores every single experience and image that the child had absorbed and that becomes part of him. “The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul. He incarnates in himself all in the world about him that his eyes see and his ears hear. In us the same things produce no change, but the child is transformed by them. This vital kind of memory, which does not consciously remember, but absorbs images into the individual’s very life, has been given a special name by Sir Percy Nunn, who calls it the “Mneme”.” (M. Montessori 2010, “The Absorbent Mind”, Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company, chapter 7: “The Spiritual Embryo”, p. 56-57.) Dr. M. Montessori compares the child’s life from 0 – 3 years to the embryo period in a mother’s womb. From the birth to 3 years old the child’s mind is in the period of mental construction. The child is forming mentally like the embryo is forming physically in the mother’s womb. Dr. M. Montessori calls the child from 0 -3 years old the “Spiritual Embryo”. This period is most important in the child’s life the same like the first 3 months is vital to embryo. In this period the child develops what we know as the mother tongue. The new...
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