THE FOUR PLANES OF DEVELOPMENT
The four Planes (or phases) of development is an overall vision of Montessori’s
developmental psychology from infancy to adulthood. Her vision of the whole of
development and growth was not her own. It provides a holistic view of the developing human being and explains the constant Montessori idea of the importance of education as a “help to life”. `
The four Planes of development define the stages of human growth from birth to biological maturity. Each stage lasts approximately six years and a different set of psychological characteristics can be observed in each stage.
Human tendencies manifest according to these characteristics. Sensitive periods guide each stage of development and are most pronounced in the first stage.
Infancy 0 – 6 years
During birth to age six the child develops his psyche and makes great physical changes.
6 – 12 years
Adolescence 12 – 18 yearsAges twelve to eighteen are a period of intense physical and psychic change. During this period the construction of the individual in relation to society occurs.
Twelve years of age is a line of demarcation. What happens before is considered to be the age of childhood and what happens after is preparation of adulthood. This is when the youth accomplishes the transformation into the adult member of the species and creates a social self who will assume the role of contributor to society itself.
12 – 18 years
Maturity 18-24 years