Sensitive Periods

Topics: Sense, Consciousness, Unconscious mind Pages: 15 (2359 words) Published: May 14, 2008
Assignment No: 1

Define the term Sensitive periods and explain how the teacher’s knowledge and

understanding of these periods determines he’s/her preparation and custodianship

of the prepared environment.

According to Montessori that it is very easy for a child to acquire certain abilities such as

language, discrimination of sensory stimuli, and mental modeling of the environment at

certain periods this is what Dr. Montessori called Sensitive periods. (Montessori, 1966).

In my easy I’m going to explain the main sensitive periods and why they are important

for the child’s first stages of development and how the teacher can facilitate these periods

for the child to reach his/her optimum development.

The age range of these sensitive periods is in the first period of growth from birth to six

years of age (Montessori, 2007). During these sensitive periods a child has an incredible

power of absorption; Montessori also called this time the period of Absorbent mind

(Montessori, 1972). Montessori is referring a special ability to help the developmental

process of the child’s called “ The Absorbent Mind” (MCI, Unknown).

The period of absorbent mind goes from 0-6 years of child age and they have 2 phase of

absorbent mind. Unconscious absorbent mind, and conscious absorbent mind.

Unconcious mind goes to 0-3 years and conscious obsorbent mind goes to 3-6 years of

age (Montessori, 2007). Now I’m going to explain about 3 stages or planes of

development in a child’s life.


Montessori refers 3 stages or planes of development in child’s life. During the

unconscious phase from zero to three years, the child learns new skills unconsciously

Montessori also referred this time period to the infant as the spiritual embryo

(Montessori, 2007) a child learns essential skills like walking and language. S/he asks

a lot of questions because s/he wants to know about their environment (MCI, Unknown)

From 3-6 years of age a child has a conscious absorbent mind, and the child learns new

skills through deliberate effort. In this period the child build up himself by utilizing the

impressions that s/he unconsciously and unwilling stored during zero to three years.

These 3 to six years is also the period of motor sensorial age (Montessori, 2007). In the

second period of absorbent mind which goes to 6-12 years, now this is time when the

child will start formal schooling, and s/he is strong in metal and physical health in this

period. It is thought that during the 6-12 years of a child’s age is the best time to learn

about culture (Montessori, 2007).

During the period of absorbent mind the child goes through 6 different sensitive periods

(Montessori, 1966).

1. The sensitivity to order (Montessori, 1966)

2. A sensitivity to refinement of the senses (Polk, 1972)

3. A sensitivity to language (Polk, 1972)

4. A sensitivity for movement and walking (Polk, 1972

5. A sensitivity for small objects (Polk, 1972)

6. A sensitivity to the social life (Polk, 1972)

Now I’m discussing about sensitivity to order.

Order is the essential part of a child’s development (Montessori. 1966). The sensitive

period for order operates most activity between roughly the age of one and two years

(Polk, 1972). According to Montessori (Polk, 1972) we can observed that the children

need order because order gives them joy in the environment, second they can have a

tantrum, if some thing is out of order, 3rd they have to put things back in there place.

Montessori point out one wonderful example of order that one time Montessori was in

Naples, there was a child of about one and a half years old with her/his mother, and the

child becomes agitated because his/her sense of order was to see that his/her mother did

not ware her coat but she hung it on her arm, this thing disturbed he’s/her...
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