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
Quote by Maria Montessori:
Mario Montessori said: “…the prepared environment should…reflect that amount of organization and order necessary for community to function properly”.
There are similarities betwenn the Primary/Children’s House and the Elementary/Primary environments:
Both environments serve the needs of each child and provides for the manifestation of the tendencies for each plane.
3 to 6
6 to 12
The 2nd plane child is interested in how the world came to be.
We give them the keys to their imagination.
The child can use this imagination to reconstruct the past, see the present and visualize the future. He/She can identify the mistakes that have been made and give possibility for correction.
The information given needs to be clear and limited to what is essential. It needs to be related to their interest in life, their questions and their seeking intellects.
It all should give a vision of creation and the human kind.
Examples of humans that personify compashion and serenity in their efforts to change the course of time, should be given as much as possible. It is important to appeal to the spirit of the child and not just the senses.
All this information, lessons, stories and facts are told to give keys for the child’s own exploration.
Montessori called this
“The Universe is a imposing reality and an answer to all questions.
We shall walk together on this path of life for all things are part of this Universe and connected to each other, to form one whole unity.”
Montessori education is in its essence a study of the “nature of a human being”, a process of a formation and conception throughout life.
Two unique gifts are given to the human being
These two gifts allow the tendencies to construct the human uniqueness. The tendencies are factors that operate the vehicles of the intellect, enabling the human to learn about and understand his environment.
“Education should be based scientifically on the observation of
By the end of the first plane of development, the child should have constructed him/her self as individual entity. Now the child is a member of the group and should have had the opportunity to work individually.
The “Casa dei Bambini” should provide the child with “the keys to the world”. The world is made out of qualities and facts, which are represented in the “Casa dei Bambini”.
During the second sub stage, the child needs to be helped to…
The five main points in “Practical life”
(HORME – n. Psychology, vital energy directed to in active purpose. hormic, a. hormist, n believer in horme as fundamental psychological factor.)