Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sensitive Period for Order

What is a Sensitive Period?

Maria Montessori believed that children pass through phases in which at certain stags throughout their development they have a predisposition or sensitivity to learning a specific skill. These stages are called sensitive periods.

This past week we had the opportunity to witness a sensitive period for order.  This child spent a long time string blocks on a lace and arranging them.  He was quiet and completely absorbed in this activity.  It was a beautiful moment to observe his time with the material and appreciate that he is indeed in a sensitive period for order.

Dr. Montessori tells us that the sensitive period for order begins at birth, peaks during early toddlerhood, and generally lasts until around age five. The sensitive period for order is characterized by an inner need for consistency and repetition, the child in this sensitive period craves routines and predictability. 

It is important as a Montessori teacher to watch for these Sensitive Periods for learning and act on them when they present themselves.