Montessori Glossary Community Project

Sensitive periods

Refers to specific and critical time frames in the first plane (0-6) child's life when they exhibit heightened receptivity towards acquiring specific skills or knowledge. During these periods, children are profoundly inclined towards particular aspects of learning and development, such as order, movement, sensory perception, and language. These sensitive periods propose optimal windows of opportunity for specific learning and development. While learning remains possible after these periods, it may become more challenging. For instance, the sensitive period for language extends to the age of six, highlighting this period as an opportune time for language acquisition. The sensitive periods are not rigidly fixed but indicate times of increased sensitivity and receptivity to certain areas of learning.