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 years by absorbing from the surrounding environment unconsciously. The embryo needs to be protected by an external environment that is warm in love, rich in nourishment. Every child is born with a warming potential in him.
‘We know how to find pearls in the shells of oysters, gold in the mountains and coal in the bowels of the earth but we are unaware of the creative nebulae that the child hides in himself when he enters this world to renew mankind’. (Educational Philosophy in Modern India, Kumar S, p128)
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 which cannot be altered. Therefore, Montessori says that people who are able to rely on their natural instincts give a loving, caring and easy going environment for the firmest foundation for their child’s future life.
Each of these periods lasts for only as long as is necessary for the child to accomplish a particular stage of development. The child is like a sponge which soaks whatever is there in the environment whether it is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, violent or peaceful. These impressions are stored in his memory, mneme, which becomes a part of his personality.
“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 House”, Montessori, P.94)
According to Maria Montessori the sensitive periods are the best time for a child to learn a specific skills and are critical to the child’s self development. The child has this under urge to undertake the task in order to live. The six sensitivity periods plays vital role in a child’s development, such as Sensitivity to order where a child shows the need of order in his life with many ways. A child gets upset if he did not find his household material to be kept in order. In other way he creates tantrum at unfamiliar faces or places as well.
For Exp. If the blocks of a child with which he plays are not kept at the right place, the child will not feel comfortable and secure. In other example, two twin siblings, ten months old, were sleeping on their provided beds laid in a specified direction. Their beds were changed mistakenly and so on their directions also, then the tantrum was created by them was tremendous. They both were screaming and crying constantly and mother was upset because it was happening first time when they both were restless. The whole night parents were holding them in their hands. Coincidentally the twins were laid down on their own beds, resulting they both were quite comfortable and happy. The changes in their beds was a reason for their restlessness and they were not feeling secure.
Sensitivity period for small objects starts from the age of 1 to 3 years and it helps to widen the child’s power of observation and concentration on a specific point. The objects in the environment should always be chosen for their usefulness and their beauty. No need to overwhelm the senses with lots of bells, instead invite the senses to come explore, to develop greater skills of concentration. It should not be aimless.
A child is an observer receiving images from his environment through his five senses. His inner need for development urges the child to touch, see, hear, taste and smell through his five senses. By touching and...
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