Sensitive Period to Order - Montessori

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In this assignment I am going to discuss the child’s sensitive period for order. I will explain how it is catered for in the classroom, referring to materials and activities. Sensitive Periods
The Sensitive Periods are the best times for a child to learn a specific skill and are critical to the child’s self development. The child has this inner urge to undertake the task in order to live. Although, once this period passes it is possible for the child to learn the new skill but with much more difficulty. A sensitive period that is prevented from occurring will manifest itself into a cranky child. The three main sensitive periods for children aged birth to six are, order, movement and language. There are also other sensitive periods such as, refinement of motor skills, sensitivity to small objects, social behaviour and sensory refinement. (Daily Montessori-Montessori Education, www, 27/09/10) Maria Montessori believed that the first phase of the absorbent mind period is from birth to three years and that this is the most important time in a child’s development, as the child unconsciously learns his/her basic skills. She called this the period of unconscious creation. Through this time she believed that the child needs order to adapt to his/her environment. We cannot gain internal order unless we practice external order. Children cannot distinguish themselves from their surroundings. Therefore, order automatically helps them make the distinction. ‘The tantrums of the sensitive periods are external manifestations of an unsatisfied need, expression of alarm over a danger, or of something being out of place.’ (Maria Montessori, 1966, p.41).

Under the sensitive period for order, (The Absorbent Mind and the Sensitive Periods, www, 29/09/10) Maria Montessori referred to four specific areas which are; * Spatial Order - Refers to a place for everything and everything in its place. This is evident through the...
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