Maria Montessori identified four distinct periods, or “planes,” of development, which are the basis of the Montessori Method.
First Plane of Development: 0-6
Age of Prudence
• Construction of the physical
• Concrete plane
• Learns with Absorbent Mind (0-3 unconscious learning, 3-6 conscious learning)
• Sensitive periods where learning is faster/easier
• Fundamental for the formation of the individual
• Period of order
Second Plane of Development: 6-12
Age of Temperance
• Construction of intelligence
• Cosmic Plane
• Learning through reasoning with imagination and logic
• “The Bridge” to abstraction- intelligent mind is organized
• Interest in learning about the Universe and its creation/ start Great Lessons/unit studies
• Development of a sense of moderation and appreciation for the world’s gifts
Third Plane of Development: 12-16
Age of Justice
• Construction of social/moral sense
• Finds place in society among social order
• Creation of the adult
Fourth Plane of Development: 16 and up
Age of Fortitude
• Construction of the spiritual self
• Spiritual emergence
Education of the EducatorThe preparation of the Montessori teacher begins well before the educator enters the classroom for the first time. Maria Montessori wrote at great length in her books about the spiritual preparedness of the Montessori teacher. For this reason she was very protective of the Method, taking great care to ensure its authenticity.
The teacher creates an atmosphere of calm, order, and joy in the classroom and is there to help and encourage the children in all their efforts, allowing them to develop self-confidence and inner discipline. With the younger students at each level, the teacher is more active, demonstrating the use of materials and presenting activities based on an assessment of the child's requirements. Knowing how to observe constructively and when, are important talents the Montessori teacher acquires during a rigorous course of training at Montessori training centers throughout the world.
The Montessori teacher must complete post-graduate work at an approved Montessori training center for advanced studies. The program is rigorous, costly, and usually takes the teacher away from home for extended periods of time to study with other Montessorians. ECMCS continually invests in the education of the students as well as the teachers.
As a public Montessori school, ECMCS’s lead teachers must hold a degree in education at the level which she/he teaches, state certification as well as a Montessori certification. Our teachers often continue their education through workshops and conferences held by Montessori organizations.