“Our method has been based on the fact that we have been guided by the manifestations of children at different phases of growth. Each of these may be considered a level or a plane. On each different level of life there are different manifestations…The characteristics of each are so different that the passages from one phased to the other have been described by certain psychologists as “rebirths.”-Dr. Maria Montessori

  • Each person will pass through the planes of development in unique ways and at different rates.
  • Each plane is 6 years long and is divided into 2 three year periods.
  • These correspond to the to the Montessori multi-age groupings.

The First Plane

  • Early Childhood
  • 0-6 years of age
  • Period of dramatic growth and transformation
  • The concrete world and the construction of self is at the center of things
  • The world is perceived through a sensory-motor, factual protected lens.
  • The child is capable of taking in a great amount of knowledge through the senses.
  • Learning is predominantly unconscious.
  • 0-3 year old is more exploratory
  • 3-6 year old is more ordered

The Second Plane

  • Childhood
  • 6-12 years old
  • Period of relative stability, health and more growth
  • Emphasis on intellectual growth, reasoning and independence
  • Moves from concrete to abstract
  • It is important to engage the imagination with work about culture
  • Enjoys research
  • Developing an understanding of right and wrong, good and evil and on seeing the self in relation to peers
  • 6-9 is a more exploratory period
  • 9-12 is a more stable and secure period

The Third Plane

  • Adolescence
  • 12-18 years of age
  • Period of instability, dramatic growth and transformation
  • Social and economic growth
  • Independence and interdependence
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Emotional development
  • Seeing self in relation to society
  • Learning focuses on larger society, community, service to others
  • First part (12-15) more turbulent
  • Second part (15-18) more stable

The Fourth Plane

  • Maturity
  • 18-24 years of age
  • Period of stable health and less dramatic growth
  • Emphasis on great potentials and possibilities that life has to offer
  • Discovering one’s mission
  • Relation to the whole of humanity
  • Achieving aspirations
  • Life planning
  • Postsecondary education
  • Beginning of a career

“Growth is not merely a harmonious increase in size, but a transformation. Man is a sculptor of himself, urged by a mysterious inner force to the attainment of an ideal determined form. Growth may be defined as a seeking after perfection given by an impulse of life.” -Dr. Maria Montessori, To Educate the Human Potential