Montessori Philosophy

The Four Planes of Development

Dr. Montessori defined 4 stages of development and labeled them as the 4 planes of development. Within these stages, the development is intense at the beginning then reaches equilibrium before moving on to the next plane. The 1st and 3rd planes are periods of intense creation, while the 2nd and 4th planes are the periods of self construction. Key to all the planes of development is the individual’s need for independence. This is expressed differently throughout the planes.

 

Third Plane of Development

Age 12-18, Adolescence (Construction of Social Self)

 Characterized by self concern, self assessment, critical thinking and re-evaluation. This plane serves as a transition period both physically and mentally. The child begins to try to find place in this world. The third plane is also characterized by construction of social and moral values. Dr. Montessori envisioned the child practicing for life in society by working together in a sort of hostel, known as “Erd Kinder” or “Children of the Land”. Cultural development which has been ongoing is solidified in this plane. The child develops emotional independence – “I can stand on my own.”

 

Fourth Plane of Development

Age 18-24 and beyond, Adulthood (Construction of Self Understanding)

Characterized by construction of the spiritual, and the conscious discernment of right and wrong. The child seeks to know one’s own place within the world and gains financial Independence – “I can get it myself."

Second Plane of Development

Age 6-12, Childhood (Construction of The Intelligence)

Characterized by reasoning with imagination and logic, this stage of development shows the child has an intense thirst for knowledge which is so great that if allowed, the child will seek exposure to many things that have been left to high school and college in the past. The “bridge” to abstraction – or the transition from concrete to abstract thinking is apparent in this stage. The child is typically interested in learning about the universe – what is outside of the prepared environment. This plane is characterized by “Cosmic Education” – the child wants to know about the whole and his/her place within it and can appreciate the interconnectedness of all things and people. The child develops intellectual independence – “I can “think it” myself”.

First Plane of Development

Age 0-6, Early Childhood (Individual Creation Of The Person)

Characterized by the “Absorbent Mind” in which the child’s mind is like a sponge, absorbing all that is in the environment. At age 0-3 the Absorbent Mind is unconscious, and develops into a conscious Absorbent Mind around ages 3-6. During the first plane of development the child wants to be free to work independently within a structured environment doing real activities with an intelligent purpose. This plane is characterized by “Sensitive Periods” which include the intense need for order, language, refinement of the senses, movement, concrete thinking, and fundamental formation of the character. The child develops physical independence – “I can do it myself!”

 

The Three PERIODS of Learning

Esprit teachers present lessons to students based on the three periods of learning identified by Montessori, called the Three Periods.

Click on a period below to learn more

Freedom With Responsibility

When students are allowed freedom in an environment suited to their needs, they grow in inner discipline and peace. After a period of intense concentration working with materials that fully engage their interest, students appear to be refreshed and contented. An interesting piece of work, freely chosen, adds to the student’s energies and mental capacities, and leads him to self-mastery. Students are motivated by their drive for self-development. Long blocks of uninterrupted time (two and a half to three hours), provide opportunities for them to develop problem-solving skills, to see the interdisciplinary connections of knowledge, and to explore creative ideas. Students work independently, in small, collaborative groups, and as a whole class community. Independent activity makes up as much as 80% of the students’ work. The logical, sequential nature of the environment guides discovery and stimulates both creative thinking and thoughtful analysis. Montessori classrooms invite students to work enthusiastically to develop themselves.

 

Multi Age Learning

Mixed age groups free students to enjoy their own accomplishments rather than comparing themselves to others. Older students provide leadership and guidance, and benefit from the satisfaction of helping others. Younger students are encouraged by attention and help from older students. They learn through observation of older students. At the same time, older students reinforce and clarify their knowledge by sharing it with younger ones. Students easily learn to respect others, and at the same time develop respect for their own individuality. This interaction of different age students offers many occasions for building community, as well as nurturing the development of self-esteem. This encourages positive social interaction and cooperative learning.

 

Esprit International School

Welcome to Esprit International School! At Esprit, we are dedicated to building a solid foundation of joy for learning. The love of learning and love of life are the fundamental approaches we apply in teaching each student.

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The Three PERIODS of Learning

Esprit teachers present lessons to students based on the three periods of learning identified by Montessori, called the Three Periods.

Tap on a period below to learn more