Planes of Development

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
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