ï»¿The child according to Maria Montessori is an incomplete being at birth, how does the child recreate himself and in what way could the prepared environment facilitate his self-reconstruction?
When a child is born, it is born into a world and life that is unfamiliar and different from that which he led in the womb. The child seems to be weak and helpless but in such a child lies certain hidden characteristics that manifest as the child grows. The first few years of the child is a life of adaptation; during these years the child works to adapt to the unfamiliar world that he has been born into. This process of adaptation begins mentally before moving to the physical realm. Dr. Maria ...view middle of the document...
This growth occurs because of the psychic structures that are endowed on the child by nature.
The recreation of the child takes place in the first few years of its life and it is facilitated by the psychic structures imbued in the child by nature, a nourishing environment and freedom to explore and absorb information and knowledge needed for his self-recreation.
The reconstruction that the child undergoes begins internally before there is any external expression. Self-recreation is aided by internal and external structures. These structures are the key to a successful reconstruction and adaptation of the child to the world in which he finds himself. The internal structures are psychic in nature and they are endowed on the child naturally. These internal aids are the Absorbent Mind and Sensitive Periods.
In the process of self-recreation, the child in his formative years is constructing his personality and mental powers. He draws upon the information and knowledge from the things he finds in his environment uses what has been gained in the formulation of his personality. This process is particularly expedited by the presence of a kind of mind that is open, receptive and absorbent. This mind present in the child has come to be known as The Absorbent Mind. It is thus known because the child is able to absorb sensations sand information from the environment effortlessly. This mind is a natural endowment by nature. It is by the presence of this mind that the child is able to absorb his environment and incarnate it in himself. The absorbent mind is divided into two parts; the unconscious mind and the conscious mind.
The unconscious mind is evident in the first three years of the childâ€™s life (0 - 3years). During this period the child is unconsciously absorbing information and experiences from the environment. This happens through the use of the senses. The child senses, responds and records changes in its immediate environment. This knowledge and information absorbed is stored in the memory (Mneme). This knowledge that has been absorbed unconsciously, prepares the mind of the child for future use. During this period of unconscious learning, the childâ€™s personality is formed. Also, during this period, the foundations for language development are laid as the child is able to absorb the sounds present in his immediate environment. This is stored and manifests at a later time as the child begins to talk. It is by this mechanism that a child is able to speak the language of his home without being taught or instructed.
The conscious mind is evident from the third year of life to the sixth year of the child. During this period, the memory is developed and will have been formed. The child is conscious of his environment and the child is able to reason and has understanding. At this time the child begins to take charge of his learning process and stored knowledge begins to move from the unconscious to the conscious mind. The child begins to make...