Planes of Development
Dr. Montessori based her observations of children on what she called the Planes of Development. Simply put, each stage or plane of a child’s development followed a six -year span. The first three years within that span were considered periods of construction and the second three years periods of consolidation. During the construction phase, the child gathers knowledge, followed by the consolidation phase, where a child uses the acquired knowledge to deepen and integrate understanding. At each plane of development, there are changes in the child’s physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development. Learning from one plane to the next is cyclical as each experience is met with a more sophisticated understanding on the part of the child. Consequently, a broadening of the formulation of the child’s character and learning potential occurs. Interestingly, the completion of these developmental phases is in adulthood at around 24 years. It is important to realize that each phase can vary depending on the unique personality of the individual person.
Each plane has characteristics that are uniquely observable.