Planes of Development
Learning skills outside of these optimal times is less effective and more difficult for the child. As educators, schools and parents alike, it is critical that we educate in complete harmony with these planes of development. These planes are interlinked. traditional education is based on assumption of linear development which can be explained with the help of following diagram, Maria Montessori compared these four planes with lifecycle of butterfly. . butterflies and moths have a “complete” life cycle.
This means that there are four separate stages just like human being, each of which looks completely different and serves a different purpose in the life of the insect. The egg is a tiny, round, oval, or cylindrical object which turns into The caterpillar (or larva) which is the long, worm-like stage of the butterfly or moth. It is the feeding and growth stage. The third one is the chrysalis (or pupa) which is the transformation stage. The adult (or imago) is colorful butterfly or moth usually seen. It is the reproductive and mobile stage for the species. There is similarity between first and third pane and between second and fourth plane. uring first plane constructive formation of both physic and psychology of infant takes place similarily. fourth plane is also challenging physically and psychologically. during second plane the child has already adapt the environment and already has an attitude of ‘I want to do it myself’ he is more calm just as in fourth plane. these similarities and characteristics of each plane is explained in detailed with the explanation of each plane below. Infancy (0 – 6 years) This is the Plane of fundamental importance for the formation of the individual. The first plane extends from birth to around six years of age.
During this period, Montessori observed that the child undergoes (to bear) striking physical and psychological development. The first plane child is seen as a concrete, sensorial explorer and learner engaged in the developmental work of psychological self-construction and building functional independence. Montessori introduced several concepts to explain this work, including the absorbent mind, sensitive periods, and normalization. The infant is fragile and need vaccines. there legs are short. there torso bulges. their skin and hair are soft . they builds up immune system. By the time of 2 years the child can sit, crowl, walk.
His tooth appears. The moments of the child are very reflexive. His usual development takes place. The process of mylienisation of neurons take place & because of mylienisation & ausification, he ties to control over his arms & legs. The infant from 0-3 is identified by Montessori as a “Spiritual Embryo”, as the infant has, within him/herself “potentials”, which determine his or her development. There exists within this inert being, a global power, a human creative essence, which drives her or him to form a human being of his or time, civilisation and associated culture. The ewborn child has to perform formative work, which corresponds in the psychological sphere, to the one just done by the embryo in the physical sphere. In this psycho-embryonic period, various powers develop separately and independently of each other i. e. arm and leg movements, sensory movements, language etc. At this stage, there is no unity in the personality. Montessori called the infant from 0-3 the “unconscious creator”. here they have an unconscious absorbent mind. This is even called period of acquisition. At the age of three, a new consciousness appears clearly and fully.
It is as though the child’s life is beginning again, but this time as a “conscious creator”. it has a conscious absorbent mind here. The child now wants to master his or her environment and exercise his/her will. He is discovering sensorial exploration & becomes a concrete thinker. The child wants to know ‘what’. The child is always busy doing something with his/her hands, guided by intelligence. The child’s play is really work – the child works for his/her own development. All the separate embryonic developments, which occurred from 0-3 years, must in the end, function together and become integrated so as to serve the individual personality.
This is what is happening in the period for 3-6, when the hands are working, guided by the mind. When the environment offers motives for constructive activity, all energies concentrate together. With freedom to develop normally, we see the true personality of the child emerge. This is what Montessori called the ‘Normalised’ child. During, and as a result of the process of normalisation, the child develops character quite spontaneously. Montessori identifies the period from three to six years of age as the ’embryonic period for the formation of character’.
Even ego is formed at the end of this stage. The child needs love, warmth, protection at this stage. Order & the sense of security is utmost important. The child requires freedom to explore himself, But this freedom is to be given within limits. The child must be provided with an envoirnment full of rich & diverse stimuli, purposeful activity & experiences in order to help them to learn how to relate to others, to built self esteem & self confidence & to be exposed to life as it is lived in his culture & participate in it to work by himself.
Thus it is the adult responsibility to provide positive environment by having consistency in their behavior, giving respect & assistancial approach to child. The adult should put forward good values & morals & should not provide any prejudices. The adult should be guide to child. CHILDHOOD ( 6 – 12 YEARS) This is a “calm phase of uniform growth”, and the one in which the abstract mind is organised. The child’s mental and physical horizons open up; there is no limit to what the child can explore if the opportunities are there and conditions are favourable. During this phase there is a loss of milk teeth & the new teeth emerges.
The skin & hair becomes thicker. The childs eye colour solidifies. The child losses rounded body figure. His arms & legs become longer. His body becomes stronger & thinner. He is more rough & tough & adventurous. His immune & nervous system improves & his head is proportionate. This is a period of sexual latency. For this plane of development, Montessori emphasized an expansive education, a vastness of culture, wider social contacts and the open environment. This child wants to explore the whole question of morality, and can, together with other children, build social groups that are organized with rules to be governed by and work to be done.
This is a period of greatest acquisition of knowledge as it is rightly called the period of “WHY. ” The capacity for expansion, abstraction & imagination developes. The child is more concern with good/ bad & has a strong sense of moral gestures. Reasoning begins in this period. He is less concern for his people & has more self awareness. His need for order disappears & he begins to be less sweet & more rude. Herd instinct is the major characteristics in this phase. The child loves to be in the group. The child always has an “ it’s not fair” attitude. In this phase the child would not like to be corrective.
He loves to do more of group activities & needs more wider social contacts & cultural exposure. He wants his own material which can be manipulated on his own. They need more challenging activities & don’t like to lose. The adults responsibility is to provide child with love, respect & security. The adult should give child a chance to say his word. Adult should stick to true answers during the WHY questions. Adult should create a positive environment & give him lot of exposure to be independent. The adult should acknowledge the child, bond with the child, & should open the doors of communication.