The four planes of educational development

 

Our school logo represents the culmination of Maria Montessori’s pedagogy on the four planes of development.

The four planes of development serve as the blueprint on which Dr. Montessori built her developmental psychology which encompasses human development from birth until maturity at age 24. Dr. Montessori observed that all children go through various stages of physical and psychological development which were noticeably identifiable by the different characteristics they display as they grow. “Psychologists who have studied children’s growth from birth to University age maintain that this can be divided into various and distinct periods.” (The Absorbent Mind, p. 17)

 

The four planes were described by Dr. Montessori as follows:

The First Plane: Birth to Age 6 (Early Childhood)

The Second Plane: Ages 6–12 (Childhood)

The Third Plane: Ages 12–18 (Adolescence)

The Fourth Plane: Ages 18–24 (Maturity)

 

Although Dr. Montessori divided each plane of development, she noted that the planes themselves did not progress in a conventional linear pattern. The first three years of each plane show the most striking changes where children peak. While during the last three years, a child will stabilise in preparation for the beginning of a new stage of development. “Each preceding phase prepares the one that follows, forms its base, nurtures the energies that urge towards the succeeding period of life.” (From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 84) This is demonstrated in her chart:

It is this through this understanding that we have chosen to represent the four planes using the joint knots as a symbol of the cycle of development from one stage to the next. This is not only represented in our logo but also in our ethos as we have structured our schools in a manner that fulfills the needs of our learners at each stage of their development; the last stage representing their emergence into society. Dr. Montessori’s theory on the Planes of Development guides children’s path in reaching their full potential which forms part of our founding philosophies at Infinite Schools.

“The child is endowed with unknown powers which can guide us to a radiant future. If what we really want is a new world, then education must take as its aim the development of these hidden possibilities.” (The Absorbent Mind)

Article by Safeiya Morris