Child Psychology – Part 1
Q1 what are the six sensitive periods? Write 7-8 lines on each of them. Answer. After working with children from all backgrounds, Maria Montessori concluded that despite their differences all children experience a time span when he/she acquires specific knowledge from his surroundings through his focused activities and that too without getting bored and tired. This time span or time periods are called as the sensitive periods. As and when the need of knowledge and understanding has been fulfilled, a child’s sensitivity naturally moves on to acquiring a new one. Thus, Maria Montessori observed six sensitive periods. They are as follows; 1. Sensitivity to Order
2. Sensitivity for refinement of senses
3. Sensitivity to Language
4. Sensitivity for walking
5. Sensitivity for small objects
6. Sensitivity to social aspects of life.
1. Sensitivity to Order: Appears in child’s 1st year and continues through the 4th year. Order is a sensitive period that exemplifies a child’s desire for consistency and repetition, along with established routines. The child has two different perspectives to order, the external order which relates to his/her environment and the inner order which makes him/her aware of his/her own external body parts and their relative position. A child who goes through this period can be extremely affected by disorder. The environment for this period should accommodate the need of order. During this period, the child desires to sort out and sequence everything that is appropriately placed for him/her to do so. Eventually this sense of order will become a permanent part of him/her. Stacking cups, resting stackers are great material to promote order.
2. Sensitivity for refinement of senses: It begins from the time a child crawls till the 8th yr. of his age. Refinement of the senses is a fascination with the five human senses i.e., the taste, sound, touch, smell and vision. In order to interact with the environment, children need to use their senses. The sharper the senses, the more information children can program in their mind. And it will stay so throughout their adult years. In this period the children also begin to co-ordinate the interaction between all the senses. Feel and touch books and boards, smelling bottles etc are good to enhance the sensing activity in children.
3. Sensitivity to language: This period lasts from the birth to 6yrs. A child begins his/her journey towards acquiring language by listening and observing others speak in their environment. And almost magically, a child babbles his/her first words. Soon he/she starts constructing grammatically correct phrases and sentences. All of this has developed as a result of the child’s inner need towards acquiring language. Dr. Montessori says that if for any reason a child is not exposed to language during sensitive period, he/she will suffer limitation in his/her intellectual growth that can never be totally compensated. First picture word books are good to promote sensitivity to language.
4. Sensitivity for walking: This period starts from 1yr. onwards. No other mammal has to learn to walk. Walking develops without it being taught. A child becomes frustrated when an adult impedes his motion by picking him/her up. A child walks to perfect his walking, whereas we walk to go someplace. Once the child has done perfecting to walk, it’s time to jump, hop, skip, climb, carry things, and balance objects etc. Balance beam, slides etc. are good to promote sensitivity for walking.
5. Sensitivity for small objects: From 1yr. till 4yrs. After perfecting to walk, a child focuses on using his/her hand. He/she wants to pick up small objects e.g. Small insects, pebbles, stones, grass etc. Thus he/she tries to refine his/her hand-eye co-ordination. The sensitive period for small objects also describes a child’s fixation on small things and tiny details. Thus, this is the child’s...
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