Gables Montessori Blog

The Child

Dr. Montessori believed that every educator should “follow the child”, recognizing the evolutionary needs and characteristics of each age, and building a favorable environment, both physical and spiritual, to respond to these needs. Children’s development emerges as a need to adapt to his/her environment: the child needs to give a meaning to the world that surrounds him/her, and he/she constructs him/herself in relation to this world.

Maria Montessori observed that the child goes from infancy to adulthood through 4 evolutionary periods called “Planes of Development”. Each period presents characteristics that are radically diferent from the other periods, but each of them constitutes the foundation of the following period. In her book, The Absorbent Mind, Montessori explained that: “In the same way, the caterpillar and the butterfly are two creatures very different to look at and in the way they behave, yet the beauty of the butterfly comes from its life in the larval form, and not through any efforts it may make to imitate another butterfly. We serve the future by protecting the present. The more fully the needs of one period are met, the greater will be the success of the next.”

The first plane of development that starts at birth and continues until the child is 6 years old is characterized by children’s “Absorbent Mind”, which takes and absorbs every aspect, good and bad, from the environment that surrounds him/her, its language and its culture. In the second plane, from 6 to 12 years old, the child possesses a “rational mind” to explore the world with imagination and abstract thinking. In the third plane, from 12 to 18 years old, the teenager has a “humanistic mind” which desires to understand humanity and to contribute to society. In the last plane of development, from 18 to 24 years old, the adult explores the world with a “specialist mind”, finding his/her place in it.

1 Comment

  • Cornelia July 8, 2016 - 10:44am

    I’m so glad I found my sotuilon online.

    Reply


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