Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Fourth Plane of Development: Ages 18-24 - Montessori Philosophy

Here is the final piece in NAMC's series on the Montessori planes of development. The fourth plane, from 18-24, is known as the plane of maturity or adulthood. More stable than the third plane, it is now possible for the young adult to pursue studies that interest them in the context of making a difference in the world. This is known as the time of the “specialist mind.”

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:
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, July 12, 2007.


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