The 0-3 year old child is defined by Montessori as a “spiritual embryo”. According to Maria Montessori, a baby born after completing its development in the mother’s womb is a “spiritual embryo”. According to Montessori, the newborn baby at this stage is in a deplorable state. He cannot speak, cannot stand upright, and therefore needs to be watched at all times. It is helpless and will remain that way for a while. But inside this immobile baby is a universal force that drives him to shape the man of time. He has a development plan and laws he follows. The child has an active spiritual life, although he does not reveal it.
For the development of the spiritual embryo, as in the physical embryo, an external environment is needed, brought to life by the warmth of love, fully accepted and never hindered. What the adult needs to do is to respect this spiritual embryo, to try to understand the spiritual needs of the child with the help of scientific tools at the creative stage that determines the future personality physically and spiritually, and to prepare a vital environment for him.
Montessori claims that people have a soul that they shape as they live. According to him, the soul is the product of man’s true nature and effort. This gives adults new responsibilities. Above all, the adult should support the development of the child by preserving his nature. For this, a barrier-free environment must first be prepared. Because the individual is formed in the environment. This environment should be designed in a way that allows the child to reveal his tendencies and to meet his mental needs. Montessori claims that the child living in such an environment will achieve his freedom through independence and develop his personality in accordance with his nature.
There is an exchange between the environment and the individual. The individual is molded and formed in the environment. The child gradually comes to terms with his environment. And his efforts in this way lead to the integration of his personality. As the embryo turns into a child and the child turns into a human, the personality is shaped by its own efforts.