The Montessori Method, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, is a holistic approach to child development that focuses on the four planes of development. These planes of development are divided into four stages, beginning at birth and extending into adulthood. Each stage is marked by a unique set of motivations and abilities that help children learn and grow.
The first stage, known as the “Absorbing Mind”, is marked by a child's sponge-like capacity to absorb information from their environment. During this stage, children are learning about their own culture and those of others. This stage is also marked by feelings of self-concern and self-evaluation. The second stage is known as the “Exploring Mind”.
During this stage, children are more interested in and able to understand complex concepts such as measures, equations, facts and theories. They are also more likely to engage in activities such as investigating, imagining, creating, reasoning and calculating. The third stage is known as the “Reasoning Mind”. During this stage, children are able to take all the information they have absorbed and organize it in a way that makes sense in the natural world around them.
This is also a sensitive period for critical thinking and the exploration of deeper moral and social values. The fourth and final stage is known as the “Constructive Mind”. During this stage, children are able to use their knowledge to create something new or solve problems in their environment. This is also a time when children can develop their own individual identity.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 are beneficial.
Regardless of what stage of development a child is experiencing, the Montessori Method ensures consistent principles at all times.