Sensitive Periods (Montessori)

by 01 Aug 2023Glossary

Sensitive Periods (Montessori)

In Montessori education, Sensitive Periods refer to specific times during early child development when the child shows strong propensity to specific kinds of learning. These are transient periods of intense sensitivity to particular stimuli in their environment.[1] During a sensitive period, a child may exhibit spontaneous concentration when engaged in an activity that aligns with their current sensitivity.

For instance, children in a sensitive period for order will be attracted to activities that involve ordering. They may repetitively engage in such activities, demonstrating deep concentration and requiring no external reward or encouragement. Thus, children are naturally drawn to aspects of their environment that meet their particular developmental needs.


Montessori Quotes

  • “It is true that some children…learn to read without having been taught, and that comes about because these children are in a social environment where many people know how to read, and because they come into contact with written language.”[2]
  • “The only outwardly recognizable sign of the sensitive periods is the child’s behavior: his intense interest for certain objects, a certain repetition of exercises, a certain type of concentration.” [3]