Gables Montessori Blog

The importance of the early years

In the Absorbent Mind, Dr. Montessori wrote: “The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first, the period from birth to six years That’s what is the time. yes the man’s intelligence, the most practical, is forming But not only his intelligence ; all of their psychic powers … in no other age has the child greater need of intelligent help, and any obstacles to its creative work will lessen the chance of having to achieve perfection ”


Modern psychological studies based on controlled research have confirmed these theories of Dr. Montessori. After analyzing thousands of studies, Dr. Benjamin S. Bloom of the University of Chicago, wrote in the Stability and Change in Human Characteristics, “From conception to age 4, the individual develops 50% his mature intelligence, from 4 to 8 years develops another 30% … this would suggest the very rapid growth of intelligence in the early years and the potentially large influence of the environment at the beginning of this development.


Like Dr. Montessori, Dr. Bloom believes “that the environment will have a maximum impact on a specific feature during this period fastest growing trait.” As an extreme example, a starvation diet would not affect the height of an eighteen years old, but can severely retard growth of an infant under one year of age. Since eighty percent of the child’s mental development takes place before he is eight years, the importance of favorable conditions during these years can hardly be over-emphasized.

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