Topics: Childhood, Child, Developmental psychology Pages: 3 (957 words) Published: June 21, 2013
Reading Assignment #3:
The Secret of Childhood
Hailey Neises

What is meant by “the spiritual embryo”? Do you think Montessori believed that nature or environment was more important to the growth and development of children?

I think when Montessori wrote about a spiritual embryo she meant that from the early conception of a child through its growth and development; the spirit self begins to open its eyes and grow just as any cell based embryo would grow. I think Montessori saw nature as a fundamental part of who that child is; a human being. But she saw the environment as allowing for independent actuality of the child. By allowing the child to learn independence through a consist safe environment the child feels safe, trusted and familiar with their surroundings. Through this the child feels capable to learn.

Explain the term, “sensitive period” and give an example of a sensitive period at work.

According to Montessori in the book The Secret of Childhood a sensitive period refers to,
" a special sensibility which a creature acquires in its infantile state, while it is still in a process of evolution. It is a transient disposition and limited to the acquistion
of a particular trait. Once this trait, or characteristic, has been acquired, the special sensibility disappears"(Montessori p 38). That said I think of the sensitive period as an instinct that each child of every ability is born with. As the child physically develops parts of their "self" are called into action. "Self" encompassing a child's (mind, spirit and body). I think of it this way because it seems that a child has not yet separated mind from body. They are still a whole "self" while adults have gone through a kind of separation of mind and body.

An example of a sensitive period I have recently been witness to is one of a student who has begun to recognize insects. Apparently he was stung by a bee early in his life and has since ignored the fact that insects...
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