Sensitive Periods

Topics: Maria Montessori, Sense, Sensitive periods Pages: 6 (2047 words) Published: September 16, 2013
Sensitive Periods
Introduction
Sensitive periods are a termed coined by a Dutch biologist Hugo de Vries and later adopted by Dr. Montessori to refer to the important period of development in childhood.  Montessori was not very specific in her published works about the precise number, description, or timing of these sensitive periods. These periods are critical to the child’s self-development. She set out several periods with the approximate ages to which they applied. Dr. Montessori believed, adults should observe the behavior and activities of children to discover what sensitive periods they are in. What are Sensitive periods

Sensitive periods in a child's life are like windows of opportunities from which a child gets to learn different skills. The child is extra sensitive to the stimuli it gets to learn a particular skill at those periods. If they are missed, if the child does not get those stimuli, the opportunity is missed forever. This is an important thing to understand and as adults we must be aware so that we can provide help to the child when needed. Characteristics of Sensitive periods

Since this Sensitive period occur at during the first 2 ½ years. The child is extra sensitive to the stimuli it gets to learn a particular skill at those periods. These movements are involuntary and it’s the unconscious skill that is this fundamental development. If they are missed, if the child does not get those stimuli, the opportunity is missed forever. This is an important thing to understand and as adults we must be aware so that we can provide help to the child when needed. We can say that these sensitive periods are universal and seen in all the children. They are irresistible and they help in the process of human development. It is an intense period and they child should be given the opportunity to aid his self-development. We can also say that these sensitive periods are inter related, as each one lays the foundation for the other. How did Dr. Montessori come to the idea of Sensitive periods? The phase sensitive periods was first coined by a Hugo de Vries a Dutch biologist he made this discovery while studying animal life. Dr. Montessori also made this similar discovery when she was observing children. She then spoke to him on the same lines of their discovery. She gives us a keen observation about the butterfly eggs. Then butterfly lays its eggs in the fork in the branches of the tree trunks. The larvae have a certain urge to go towards the light, nothing will stop them till they reach the tip of the branch and when they reach the tip they lose their sensitivity towards light and start feeds on the youngest tip of the leaf. Even if there are no leaves the sensitivity is still there at a certain time. So there is a period allotted for development and progress that governs the process of development The 3rd fold phenomena that Dr. Montessori observed

In the 3 fold phenomena Dr. Montessori observed that the child has a spontaneous interest in purposeful activity. She observed that the child had the capacity to reach a stage of concentration by the means of interested repetition. A vital unbreakable link exists between the 3 factors that is interest, repetition and concentration.

* Concentration
The child is capable of concentration, the capacity to concentrate belong to the nature of the child and she realized indispensable need to concentrate belongs to the nature of the child, and she came to realize the great work the child has to perform and thus his entire future depends on these developments. He definitely needs to concentrate to make achievements. Example: To walk and to talk we have to co-ordinate our movements which, he does to a great degree of perfection. * Interest

This spontaneous interest is the spark that is kindled, when a genuine vital need comes in contact with something that attracts the attention of the child. When comes face to face with what will satisfy his need which is attracted...
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