The Absorbent Mind is a term adopted by Dr. Maria Montessori to describe a distinct process of development observable in a young child, between birth and six years of age. Montessori's theory of the Absorbent Mind describes the way in which a young child's brain unselectively takes in information from the environment. It characterises the period of development where there is limitless capacity for learning - when the complex neural pathways and connections required for later intellectual and psychological development are being formed. Montessori used the terms absorbent and mind very specifically to describe this process. Absorbent - to portray the child's active, undiscriminating means of receiving of information - like a sponge absorbing all liquid that surrounds it. Mind - to distinguish this learning process from that of the brain's physical development. The theory identifies the absorbent mind as having two defining characteristics: A non-discriminatory nature and A temporary presence in the process of human development
The most discernable characteristic of a child's Absorbent Mind is its unique capacity to take in new information totality and without discrimination. Like a sponge, the minds of young children can absorb all the information from their surrounds. Unlike a sponge, however, their minds never reach a point of saturation. All information experienced through one or more of the senses is collected without filtering.