The spiritual embryo is a phase in the development of a child that coincides with non-physical development. This can be the development of the child’s intellect, personality, and soul. Dr. Montessori calls it an “embryo” because it can be compared to the physical development of the embryo within the womb prior to birth. I think that Dr. Montessori believed that environment was more important to the growth and development of a child. An excerpt from page 35:
“There is an interchange between the individual, the spiritual embryo, and its environment. It is through the environment that the individual is molded and brought to perfection.” 2.
The ‘sensitive period’ is a term that Dr. Montessori uses to describe certain phases (or periods) within a child’s development when there are heightened sensitivity or focus toward particular aspects of his/her environment or skills that can be observed. The periods include sensitivity to order, language, movement, numbers, manners, etc. I a great example of a sensitive period at work would be during the first part of the school year when we have to focus on normalizing the classroom. The focus during that time would be on order. 3.
The special circumstance was that Dr. Montessori was able to work with non-disabled children in the Casa dei Bambini. Since the children were no longer hindered by physical or mental disabilities, Dr. Montessori was able to experiment with allowing the children to develop freely. The necessary characteristics of the Montessori approach would simply be able children placed in an environment that is properly equipped (with materials) to meet the development needs of those children. 4.
Dr. Montessori viewed ‘work’ as the critical path for a child to return to a ‘normal’ state. She believed that the desire to work is an inherent and vital instinct for the child and that they cannot begin to structure their personality without it. 5.
Children and adults come into conflict because the child...
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