Spiritual Embryo

One of the most profound concepts in Dr. Maria Montessori’s work is her view of the child’s “spiritual embryo.”  Before child psychologists such as Piaget laid out their stages of development, Montessori gave us the counter-cultural view of the child’s nature as “full” rather than blank.  She found, through her keen observations that children are born with a “psychic pattern” that unfolds after birth. Unlike animals, the human is not guided by fixed instincts but through his absorbent mind in his environment. The human being, therefore, is free and likely to develop in more varieties of personality.  It is imperative that the adult be careful to protect the child’s psychic life as he develops it secretly “over a long period of time.”