As with previous planes, the fourth plane of development is marked by the acquisition of economic independence. Previous educational and life experiences have, along the way, provided a general purpose… “the whole life of the adolescent should be organized in such a way that it will enable him, when the time comes, to make a triumphal entry into social life – not entering it debilitated, isolated, or humiliated, but with head high, assured of himself.” (Montessori, 1962)
The Fourth Plane of Development: Ages 18-24 - Montessori Philosophy
By this point, in earlier eras, the young adult would have become providers and heads of households, starting and taking care of their own families. They would have been self-sufficient, productive members of their community, thus fulfilling two of the most basic and fundamental needs of any human being: the need to feel useful and the need to have an environment conducive to developing an occupation that best fulfills an individual’s desires, talents, and abilities.
Montessori said that the role of childhood was to be engrossed in the important work of creating a self-sufficient adult. It is therefore, of utmost importance that we, as Montessori educators, offer each child the widest range of experiences possible and to “follow the child” along his path to maturity.
To view our series on the Montessori Planes of Development, please link to the following articles below:
- Montessori Philosophy – The First Plane of Development: Birth–Age 6
- Montessori Philosophy – The Second Plane of Development: Age 6–12
- Montessori Philosophy – The Third Plane of Development: Age 12–18
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 12, 2007.