How many sensitive periods are there? When do they occur?

24 Jun

This blog was originally designed to document my transformation as I went through my training as a Children’s House (preschool) teacher of children age 3-6. For the next few months it will largely be devoted to resources used for developing a Social Justice Curriculum for Bright Water Montessori School.

However, back to our original question;

How many sensitive periods are there? When do they occur?

The answer is 5. There are only 5 sensitive periods of development and if you’re in training to be an E1 or E2 teacher you will never see them, because they all occur before the age of 6.

I was reviewing my notes from my Primary (children’s house) training and I found this summary that I wrote:

“These sensitive periods do not manifest in isolation. Rather, they overlap and coincide. For example, language is the first to manifest and it lasts the longest. A sensitivity for order also manifests quite early and lasts until 4.5 years. Movement manifests around throughout the second half of the first plane, from age 3 to 6. All 3 of these are human tendencies so, in a way, they never completely disappear. However, their greatest potential and potency is during the first 6 years of life. Sensitive periods are only found in a developing being not in an adult. Most of all, they are all observable. What do they look like? More details in the next section.”

I got this from lecture during my time at the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota. I looked for another source, and I found this really cool animated video hat summarizes it beautifully. This could be great for a parent education night:

Pay particular attention to 3:14 where there’s a nice chart that summarizes all 5 sensitive periods and their APPROXIMATE age of occurence.


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