Embryonic Development

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“Man seems to have two embryonic periods. One is parental, like that of the animals; the other is postnatal and only man has this. The prolonged infancy of man separates him entirely from the animals, and this is the meaning we must give to it”

Dr.Maria Montessori Basic Ideas of Montessori’s Educational Theory

Comment on the above quote. Using this quote, explain the way in which Montessori philosophy aids the child formation of his personality.

When Wolff announced his discoveries on the segmentation of the germ cell, he threw new light on the process of creation of living creatures, and at the same time made it possible to verify, by direct observation, the existence of the inner forces working in accordance with the pre-determined pattern. But when after the discovery of microscope, he found out that the first stage is a simple germ cell ,which results from the union of two cells, male and female, consist simply of membrane ,protoplasm ,and nucleus. The germ cell however possesses a most singular property of subdivision and subdivision on a pre-established pattern. But if we look at the development of the animal embryo, we see that the cell first split into two ,these two into four and so on ,and so by continuous multiplication,introflexion and differentiation ,it develops into a complicated whole of organs and tissues. The germ cell therefore simple ,transparent and devoid of any material design ,works and builds in exact obedience to the immaterial order it bears within itself-like a faithful servant who knows by heart the mission he has received and who fulfills it ,though carrying on his person no document that could reveal the secret order he has been given .

These tiny cells contain the blueprint of the child, which are inherited by the ancestors, so every new born baby bears a pattern of physical instincts of the functions that will set its relation to the environment. Yet during the development of the embryo measures need to be taken to determine that the embryo reaches its potential. Although the fetus is well protected in the mother’s womb still it becomes vulnerable if the environment provided is not safe. The environment of the embryo is determined by the quality of the mothers diet, her lifestyle such as smoking, drug addiction or alcoholic for instance if the mother is using alcohol during pregnancy the chances are that it may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and children born with FAS may: •Grow more slowly

Have learning problems
Have abnormal facial features
whether the mother has been exposed to harmful substances as Radium. For instance the Atomic bomb invasion on Hiroshima & Nagasaki during the World War II created deformities, cancer, and leukemia in the mother’s womb.

Embryology, thus became the most fascinated science as it as it does not study the organs of the developed being but it has its end and aim to uncover the creative process, the way in which the body ,which doesn’t exist comes to shape itself for the entry in the world. Julian Huxley sums up the miracle of the embryo “The passage from nothing to the complex body of the fully grown individual is one of the constant miracles of life .If we are not struck by the greatness of this miracles, it can only be for one reason ,that it occurs so often under our eyes in the experience of the everyday life.” (The Absorbent Mind,2010,pg.46)

Montessori often compared the process of psychological and spiritual development to the physical unfolding of the human organism. Just as the material body first takes shape as a self-forming embryo, requiring during its formation the protection and nurturance of the womb that envelopes it, the human soul first appears in the newborn child in an embryonic form that requires Nourishment from a psychic womb—the protective environment of loving, caring parents and a spiritually responsive education. Montessori’s distinctive notion of...
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