sensitive Periods Montessori
Within that concept of the Absorbent Mind, she defined Sensitive Periods of Development. The Montessori framework recognizes several important stages in a child’s learning. Sensitive periods are critical milestones where children are particularly open to acquiring certain skills..These distinctions help adults structure their kids’ learning activities. Furthermore, knowledge of this concept allows adults to understand a child’s development and how to plan the learning environment accordingly.
Montessori broke the Absorbent Mind down into two phases: the unconscious (from 0-3 years old) and the conscious (from 3-6 years old). During the earlier period, the child unknowingly gathers impressions from his environment, begins to develop the “self-concept”, and life skills, such as independence.
The sensitive period definition builds on the idea that children aren’t consistently receptive to learning experiences. In other words, a child may not be interested in an activity because he has yet to enter that particular sensitive period of development. In addition to noticing distinctions between different children at one point in time, you’ll observe that individuals vary over time.
Sensitive periods are “blocks of time in a child’s life when he is absorbed with one characteristic of his environment to the exclusion of all others”. E.M. Standing writes, “Montessori observed sensitive periods in the child’s need for order in the environment, the use of the hand and tongue, the development of walking, a fascination with minute details objects, and a time of intense social interest.
- Reading & Writing – a period extending from 3 to the age of six but arguably starts at birth
- Order – starts during the first month or year of life and persists through the second year
- Movement – starts at birth and keeps going with walking typically at about 12 to 15 months of age
- Social & Emotional – often occurs at around age two or three beginning at birth
- Small objects – happens when kids are about one and last for a few years
- Sensory learning – begins from birth