Montessori's theory identifies four levels of development that indicate what children are motivated to learn during each stage. During the foreground of development, children are absorbing the world. Montessori calls this the “absorbing mind”, which means that the child's brain has a sponge-like capacity to absorb from the environment everything necessary to develop an individual from his or her specific culture. Marked by feelings of self-concern and self-evaluation, the third plane of development is a sensitive period for critical thinking and the exploration of deeper moral and social values.
Maria Montessori described four stages of growth, also called the four planes of development. The four stages begin at birth and extend into adulthood; together they constitute a holistic view of the development process and include social, cognitive, moral and biological changes. The Montessori approach places a strong emphasis on culture during this stage. Children want to learn about their own cultures and those of others.
As a child transitions to this period, we can see that he is much more interested and able to understand complex concepts such as measures, equations, facts and theories. Montessori, a child now has the ability to participate in a much higher level of learning. Verbs such as investigating, imagining, creating, reasoning and calculating are part of a child's daily learning throughout this stage. It is now the child's goal to take all the information he acquired during the absorption phases and organize it in a way that makes sense in the natural world around him.
Most of us are familiar with the Montessori method as it applies to preschoolers or grammar schools, but Dr. Enrolling your child in a Montessori program such as the ones at Fishtown Montessori is the best way to ensure that each stage of development and all sensitive periods of it is benefit. Regardless of what stage of development a child is experiencing, the Montessori Method ensures consistent principles at all times.