Define the Term Sensitive Periods and Link Them Appropriately to the Child’s First Stage of Development

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Name:Matthew HuntDate:03/06/12
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Define the term sensitive periods and link them appropriately to the child’s first stage of development. Explain how you would support these sensitive periods during this first crucial stage.- Briefly outline the stages of growth (planes of development). -Define the term sensitive periods and give full details of the six main periods, together with examples to show your understanding. -Explain why it is important to support and facilitate these periods during the child’s first stage of development (birth – 6). - Outline any adverse consequences of not recognising and supporting the child’s sensitivities. - Give details of how the adult might support these sensitive periods to facilitate the child’s optimum development.|

Most modern education focuses on the theory that growth development and learning occurs on a steady linear continuum from birth to early adulthood. Montessori philosophy on how humans learn differs, she believed learning for children occurred in waves. After years of observation, Montessori concluded there are three distinct planes of development that everyone must pass through on their way to adulthood: birth - 6, 6 - 12 and 12 - 18. In each of the stages she believed that children and youths are drawn to different skills and activities.

With this in mind, I will identify the sensitive periods and how they are the building blocks of the first six years of life within the birth - 6 phase. I will look at in detail each of the potentially overlapping periods and what exactly constitutes one of these periods. Once identified, I will explain about the relationship and the impact that the adult has in relation to understanding and aiding the child during these important phases.

The first phase is from birth to 6 and huge physical and psychological growth, exploration and development is evident. This phase is commonly known as The Absorbant Mind (Montesorri, 1966, 2007a). She believed that more learning takes place at this stage of life than during any other. It is is the period of infancy and an unconscious period of development. Psychologically, the child becomes a solid thinker, absorbing everything around them. Children begin to acquire language, develop cognitive and motor skills, begin to imitate the adults around them, and develop expectations of the world around them. The second phase of development is the phase of childhood from 6 to 12. It focuses on the conscious mind. Learning now takes place at a slower, steadier pace. Children in the second phase of development are less likely to repeat activities, unless there is some variation involved. Around the age of 6, children begin to become interested in their classmates and are learning how to socialize. They start to choose to work with others on projects of mutual interest. By 11 or 12, most students prefer to work with others rather than individually.

The third phase of development is the period of adolescence and marks...
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