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The Absorbent Mind: Montessori Approach


Nature endowed the child with an absorbing mind that memorizes the information. The absorbing mind of the child works mainly through the organs of its senses, moving from one level of complexity of cognition to another. According to Maria Montessori, “It would require us 60 years of hard work to achieve what a child has achieved in these first three years” (Montessori, 1959, p.6). In other words, comparing the abilities of children and adults, adults need to work more to achieve what the child comes to straight away. The paper’s purpose is to study the absorbing mind, taking into account the periods of early life, characteristics, phases, and fundamental tasks.

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Two Periods of Embryonic Life

Montessori suggested that the baby goes through two early periods. The first is when the baby’s physical body is born, and the second is when his psyche is born. The phase of the early stage of childhood is the most critical time of life since it is at this time that the personality and abilities of the child are formed. Montessori understands the first six years of experience as the second embryonic growth phase, in which the child’s spirit and soul develop. During its developmental process, the child goes through sensitive periods (Fabri & Fortuna, 2020). The child is especially susceptible to certain environmental stimuli concerning the development of movements, speech, or social aspects.

Unconscious Powers

The conscious intellect has the will which parallels the home of the oblivious intelligence. Montessori expresses the part of the grown-up to supply the restrain setting, which establishes the will of the child under the age of six (Frierson, 2019). The desire at that point gives the rudder in directing the right actions. Without the direction of the mindful will, the drive to act within the environment will run free.

Mneme is an unconscious, vital, patrimonial memory of emotions, thoughts, movements. Social, moral, and cultural characteristics, in many of which the whole personality is formed, all the unique differences inherent in everyone are formed in early childhood through psychic energy (Frierson, 2019). Each person carries qualitative, mental characteristics that are still visible in the essence of any person. These personal data are stored at a subconscious level, and they are wired-soldered into the human psyche program.

As a thought or a re-lived memory is passed to brain cells by hopping synapses, a biochemical electromagnetic way is built up. Each of these neuronal pathways is known as a memory trace, which is called engrams (Frierson, 2019). In the subconscious, every human being does tremendous mental work, where psychic aggregates are constructions of engrams. Necessarily expressed, here is an inward drive to involvement the world, mneme is to record those encounters within the oblivious intellect as engrams, and engram is an affiliation of ideas to illuminate issues.

Characteristics of the Absorbent Mind

By being usually inquisitive, the child retains data, absorbs it with his faculties, and builds his claim information. In other words, “he learns everything without knowing he is learning it, and in doing so, he passes small by small from the oblivious to the conscious” (Montessori, 1959, p.24). The retaining intellect of the child sees all the impressions within the environment, and they have gotten to be a portion of it and form it. It can be not due to heredity, intuitive, or necessary development, but is the result of the child’s creative potential. The inventive nature of retaining intellect is the capacity of the mind to self-create. To clarify the child’s self-creation, Montessori concluded that he must have a show of mental improvement.

The retaining mind’s characteristics could be temporary and all-inclusiveness. All over the world, children take after the same advancement designs of dialect and development. It happens notwithstanding the complexity of their local dialect or the characteristics of the advancement of their culture (Kirkham & Kidd, 2017). At around the age of six, children all over create a layer of cleverly considering that covers their retaining intellect and gets to be the way they learn in adulthood. In this manner, universality is characteristic of all children, similarly, definitively, and efficiently.

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The child absorbs the relationship between people and things, all links and prejudices, even unstated feelings, family, and culture. A child cannot distinguish between those images and experiences that are useful and those that are harmful. He indiscriminately and without judgment, and accepts everything in his environment, with love and truth (Montessori, 1959). A child absorbs humiliation and pain into his soul with the same ease with which he absorbs care and support. Therefore, the baby will stare at everything without distinction and choice.

Montessori compared the absorbing mind to a camera to describe characteristics. In an instant, the camera can perceive everything in its field (Montessori, 1959). The camera is objective, absorbing the mind of a child, and incorporates every circumstance – good, bad, or indifferent. The absorbing account is characterized by an involuntary and indiscriminate desire to absorb information and experiences. In this mission, it has an unlimited and indefatigable ability, working instantly and continuously incorporating the totality of involvements.

Sub-Phases of the Absorbent Mind

Montessori separated the retaining intellect into two stages: conscious and unconscious. At the oblivious period, from birth to three a long time, a little child unknowingly obtains its essential capacities (Isaacs, 2018). The child’s work amid this period ends up being autonomous of the grown-up in connection to crucial human capabilities. He learns to talk, walk, pick up control over his hands, and ace his substantial capacities. The child creates his essential functions through facial expressions, and children will imitate what they see.

When necessary, abilities are included in conspiring, by the age of three, a child goes into the conscious phase of absorbent intellect. They are inclined to learn things such as arrangement, early math, music, the shapes and sounds of letters, which eventually lead to math, perusing, and composing abilities. Children in a cognizant formative will illustrate a natural want to form choices for themselves and perform errands on their possess. According to Seldin (2017), Maria Montessori called it the “help me to do it myself” phase. Therefore, the youthful child’s intellect incorporates a particular capacity to retain data from the environment.

Principle Tasks of the Absorbent Mind

In a child, on the contrary to adults, feelings not only penetrate the consciousness but also form it. The child acquires human abilities, strength, intelligence, and language skills (Kirkham & Kidd, 2017). At the same time, it adapts the person forming in it to the surrounding conditions. There is nothing more important than this absorbing ability of the child’s psyche, which shapes the person and adapts him to any social situation and any climate. The mneme phenomenon provides the adaptation of a person to historical reality (Frierson, 2019). A child will calmly adjust to any level of civilization and can form a person that corresponds to a particular time and certain customs.


The discovery in the child of an absorbing mind revolutionized the educational system. The movement in life means for the child the growth and expansion of the personality: the older the baby, the smarter and healthier he becomes. Children do much more than associative thinking because they organize to perform actions that adults cannot do consciously. Children’s work and activity help to achieve intellectual growth and physical improvement, while in adults, intelligence and physical strength have weakened over the years.


Fabri, M., & Fortuna, S. (2020). Maria Montessori and Neuroscience: The trailblazing insights of an Exceptional Mind. The Neuroscientist, 1-8.

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Frierson, P. (2019). Intellectual agency and virtue epistemology: A Montessori perspective. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Isaacs, B. (2018). Understanding the Montessori Approach: Early years education in practice. Routledge.

Kirkham, J. A., & Kidd, E. (2017). The effect of Steiner, Montessori, and national curriculum education upon children’s pretence and creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 51(1), 20-34.

Montessori, M. (1959). The absorbent mind. Lulu. com.

Seldin, T. (2017). How to raise an amazing child the Montessori way: A parents’ guide to building Creativity, Confidence, and Independence. Penguin.

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