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Montessori Planes of Development -- Second Plane 6-12

Maria Montessori found that children moved through a succession of developmental planes as they get older. Each plane has a variety of characteristics that are typical for children at that stage. Understanding these planes of development is key to understanding Montessori. These characteristics help to explain why Montessorians use certain materials at certain times. They help to explain why children behave certain ways at certain times. And, they influence how a child responds to parenting and school situations. 

A look at the Montessori second plane of development from ages 6 to 12 years old.

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As, I have been explaining, my children happen to all be in really unique planes of development at the moment. For the next few years, they will all be on their own very unique paths until they are eventually all in the second plane together. Somehow, time has slipped away from me and Henry is nearly 7. And, we find him firmly in the second plane of development. 

Second Plane of Development

The second plane marks a huge difference from the first plane of development. As I explained in the first two posts in this series, the first plane is broken up into two sub-planes {0-3 years; 3-6 years} but this isn't true with the second plane. The second plane is a period of physical growth but overall calm. It's a period of stability and happiness.

 In The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montessori says, "it is a period of growth unaccompanied by other change. The child is calm and happy. Mentally, he is in a state of health, strength and assured stability." There is also a new found focus on the society, goodness, rules, and social constructs. Maria says, "An inner change has taken place, but nature is quite logical in arousing now in the child not only a hunger for knowledge and understanding, but a claim to mental independence, a desire to distinguish good from evil by his own powers, and to resent limitation by arbitrary authority.  In the field of morality, the child now stands in need of his own inner light." 

A look at the Montessori second plane of development from ages 6 to 12 years old.

Children in this plane of development also make a shift away from the absorbent mind and solely constructing themselves, and instead become interested in the world around them. They have a keen interest in culture, in history, in science, and especially in their place within this big beautiful world. In To Educate the Human Potential, Montessori explains, "The task of teaching becomes easy, since we do not need to choose what we shall teach, but should place all before him for the satisfaction of his mental appetite.  He must have absolute freedom of choice, and then he requires nothing but repeated experiences which will become increasingly marked by interest and serious attention, during his acquisition of some desired knowledge." 

A look at the Montessori second plane of development from ages 6 to 12 years old.

{Henry works at this table

Like the shift from the first sub-plane to the second, the shift from the first plane to the second, happened gradually. Little changes happened here and there until there was no denying, Henry was no in the second plane. Here are some personal thoughts on the second plane: 
  • an intense interest in fairness and right-wrong, both personally and for larger global issues
  • this is the age for "classic" childhood fantasy, games, stories, and movies and other such cultural experiences  
  • deeply engaged in interests and learning significant amounts of information about them, less interested in perfecting one aspect; want to know and understand the whole 
  • able to plan and carry out large projects over long periods of time 
  • very very social, the role of the group is very important
  • carry out practical life because of their role in the group
  • imagination flourishes, as does their ability to understand fantasy and manipulate reality 
  • ask deep questions, and over time able to seek out the resources necessary to answer them 
  • there's a love of learning information
  • freedom of movement is still essential as is the need to act independently 
  • big ideas are forming in their heads, play is often project based, big, and real
  • sense of physical order is less strong, but social order is very important. Focused on finding their place in their home, school, cultural group. 
It's sort of incredible to think that Henry will stay in this plane of development for the next 6ish years. I would expect he will continue to strive for independence, to dig deeply into the things he loves, to explore the world around him and to find his place within it! 

A look at the Montessori second plane of development from ages 6 to 12 years old.

Do you have a child in the second plane of development? Have you noticed the large shift between the two planes? 



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Comments

Ana said…
While I love following Gus who is about the same age as my son I was wandering what your eldest is doing since I have daughter his age (will be 7 in summer 2018) ☺
She has changed so much during last year her creativity has really blossomed and she is creating something she has envisioned all the time (though she was always creative and independent) and social is so important to her now. Always talking about her friends, how they communicate what she feels about them, making presents for them etc.

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