period of child hood is considered to be an entity in itself, not just a preparation for adult- hood. This can be recognized when observing the fundamental differences in which a child has from an adult. For example the way the child learns. The child has what Dr. Maria Montessori has called it, an absorbent mind. The child’s absorbent mind unconsciously soaks up information from the environment, around him, learning about it at a rapid rate. This learning process is unique to the young child and lasts through the first six years of his life. Previously mentioned before Dr. Maria Montessori has classified these years into various stages and phases of a child’s development.
The first phase of the absorbent mind is birth to three. Conscious learning has not yet emerged in the child. An example of this would be the way a child learns language. Acquired without effort, spontaneously, and literally sinking in. The same principal yet less obvious applies to the acquisition of the social and cultural norms of his society.
The second phase of the absorbent mind is three to six. It is during this period were conscious learning begins to appear. While the mind is still absorbent, the child starts to show signs of a conscious thirst for knowledge. It is during this time where the child might start asking questions of the, “why” and “how” kind. At this phase new skills are rapidly and easily acquired, again without much effort or stress.
Dr. Montessori believed that during these phases the impressions made on the mind early in life, has a profound impact on the child’s future development. Especially the years between three and six which are not only the prime time for laying down the foundation for a good education academically but most importantly the years when a child learns of their social and cultural existence. Montessori is especially effective in preparing a child to take their place in society. Using these tender ripe years to its advantage Montessori...
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