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What are planes of development?

Dr. Montessori described that the four planes (or stages) of development consist of a period of six years in each plane.

  • Birth to six (infancy)
  • Six to twelve (childhood)
  • Twelve to eighteen (adolescence)
  • Eighteen to twenty-four (transition to adulthood)


The First Plane of Development

This is the period of transformation and the characteristic of this period is known as the Absorbent Mind. The child creates the person they will become once given an appropriate and specially prepared environment to work. Montessori said that during the absorbent mind, the Sensitive Periods are at the strongest and facilitates the child's learning process.

The first plane of development is further divided into two sub-phases:
The First Sub-Plane (Birth to three years)
An important period of development. Known as "The unconscious Absorbent Mind"
The Second Sub-Plane (three to six years)
A period of consolidation of the first sub-plane, known as "The conscious Absorbent Mind"


The Second Plane of Development

This is a period of uniform growth, an intermediate period or the second stage of childhood.
At this stage children are more stable, calm and of great energy. As the child has mastered most of the basic human skills, s/he no longer has the Absorbent mind but instead learns through reasoning using their imagination to explore further. It is also a period of self-discovery and a period of developing characters, morals and ethics.


The Third Plane of Development

This is a period of Transformation, both physically and psychologically. Like the first plane of development it is also divided again into two sub-phases:

The first sub-plane (12-15 years)
At this stage the child is like a new born baby. Their character is seldom stable and there are signs of indiscipline and rebellion. It is a period of greater change than The First Plane of Development.

The second sub-plane (15-18 years).
Mentally, they have developed logical thinking and do not like to be told or pressured into learning. All activities should be connected to real life skills helping and satisfying their needs.


The Fourth Plane of Development

This is a period of transition to adulthood.

From 18-21 years, is a period for the individuals to question and plan a career path for themselves.

If they have being given the right exposure to the many aspects of practical skills, research and learning, they will be more confident in choosing a profession that satisfied their needs and ability.
So from 21-24, they are very sure of what they want, and then further develop it.

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