For Montessori , history had previously only considered the conscious urges of man when plotting his ascent, but she argued the unconscious drives in humans are far more significant, and by turning scientists and historians attention towards it she was adding a new co-efficient to the study of events past. The result is a creature who dominates nature through cultivating crops; a creature who can transform life via the domestication of animals; and who can play the role of magician by depositing ancient sunlight in the form of coal into energy to transport him anywhere on the planet.
In her literature describing the absorbent mind she borrows several terms being used at the time in that field. It describes the vital memory of the child who does not remember consciously but absorbs images unconsciously Montessori, For the purposes of contemporary understanding of these concepts it is worth clarifying how modern neuroscientists and psychologists would describe these components of the memory. It would also be useful to take a an entry level snap shot of contemporary empirical evidence related to the memory of infants and young children.
First a clarification of modern terms used in neurology and psychology when studying the memory:.
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Zelazo and Zelazo have described the period from birth to about 8 months as dominated by minimal consciousness. This term they believe serves as an alternative to the implausible ideas that infants either lack consciousness of any sort or are conscious in the adult sense. Minimal consciousness is argued to be intentional, that is, it is about things.
Zelazo and Zelazo also consider the age of around 18 months to be the time when the child shows signs of self-consciousness. Autonoetic consciousness is the ability found in humans to cognitively place themselves in the past or future, and also the ability to analyse ones own thoughts. One study cited by Tulving , was by Nelson , and analysed tapes of a young child who often talked to herself before sleeping.
At age 21 months she often reviewed personal events or thought processes, and in the next couple of months she used temporal markers for the past and appeared to be anticipating the future. Howe and Courage claimed that it is not until the third year that children are able to recall their personal past with respect to place and time. Tulving offers a supporting argument when he claims that while there are glimpses of episodic memory by the third and fourth years, numerous studies show this age group as capable of learning via noetic consciousness only. Although enlightening, Tulving is careful to make clear there are numerous other cognitive processes involved in learning for the child.
He uses the term mnemonic strategies as one such faculty, as well as language, narrative plus reasoning and problem solving but argues a discussion of all of these factors on the memory development of the child was too ambitious, even for his lengthy book.
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While her terminology might be a little be out of date, the premise for her philosophies holds true and can be used with confidence by contemporary Montessori practitioners. It began with an introduction to the idea that the Absorbent Mind does not help to construct the personality of the child with a voluntary effort, but instead in accordance with naturally guided inner sensitivities.
The concept of unconscious Absorbent Mind as belonging to the zero to three child, was then fleshed out.
The conscious Absorbent Mind was then discussed. The Absorbent Mind was and is presented as a fragile yet powerful tool. The question was posed as to why due care and attention was required to facilitate this phenomenon. A short interlude on the history of the unconscious as envisioned by Dr Montessori was detailed next. No modesty of proclamation was found there, and nor should it have been. Finally there was a brief discussion about the primary component of the absorbent mind: the memory.
Montessori Language Development: The Big Picture – Maitri Learning
Howe, M. Psychology Bulletin, , Metcalfe, J. Beran, J. Brandl, J. Proust The Foundations of Metacognition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Amsterdam: Montessori-Pierson Publishing Company. Montessori, Maria Education for a New World. Montessori, Maria The Absorbent Mind. Montessori, Maria.
Montessori, Maria Discovery of the Child. Amsterdam: Montessori-Pierson Publishing. Montessori, Maria Ramachandran, R. India: Kalakshetra. Tulving, E. London: Psychology Press. Zelazo, P. Skip to content. An essay by Peter Friend, Elementary Guide. An Introduction The Absorbent Mind is a phenomenon found and defined by Dr Montessori in the early twentieth century in children up to the age of six, which enables them to absorb knowledge quickly and effortlessly.
Unconscious and Conscious Absorbent Mind. The Unconscious Absorbent Mind According to Stephenson the unconscious absorbent mind of the zero to three year old is classifying and distinguishing objects and activities within his environment, concentrating on what is necessary for building the psycho-embryonic construction mentioned above.
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Montessori philosophy introduces the student to these ideas and how they are applied and related. Written requirements include:.
Self-Directed Practicum — Self directed means you will be a lead teacher in a classroom which requires a 2 year practicum. Institutes — Three, 3—day institutes held during the practicum year in Evanston. Written requirements include: Five Montessori Albums One essay on Montessori Philosophy Reading assignments from Montessori books Four school visitation reports A year — long child development project Montessori theory and curriculum examination.
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