Critical period: the concept a critical period is a time during an organism’s life span when it is more sensitive to environmental influences or stimulation than at other times during its life.
In developmental psychology and developmental biology, a critical period is a maturational stage in the lifespan of an organism during which the nervous system is especially sensitive to certain environmental stimuli if, for some reason, the organism does not receive the appropriate stimulus during this critical period to learn a given skill or trait, it may be difficult, ultimately less successful, or even impossible, to develop some functions later in life.
The sensitive periods comprise one of several basic principles on which montessori early childhood education is founded we begin with an image of a little girl, not yet four, in a montessori classroom.
Sensitive periods and the brain in sensitive periods, the brain has given a signal that it is time to accomplish some specific developmental task the child seeks and hopefully finds something in the environment that gives him the opportunity to exercise that newly developing skill. Video: the sensitive periods of development: birth to age 6 the phrase 'sensitive periods in human development' may sound like it refers to moody teenagers, but it actually refers to periods of time when a child easily absorbs information in a specific way.
Sensitive periods are transitory states it is considered easier to acquire the skill or knowledge while the child is in the sensitive period outside the sensitive period learning still occurs however it is more arduous and often requires more time and effort. The difference between critical periods and sensitive periods is subtle theorists who believe in critical periods believe that children who do not get special stimulation during their window of receptivity are going to be stuck forever and never gain the abilities they should have gained in that period.