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Developmental Stages

Dr. Montessori identified four planes of development in children. Each plane lasts approximately six years and is generally divided into two sub-planes. This idea, that growth and development happens in stages and that the next stage of development likely looks very different from the current stage resonates with what we observe in children.

At MST we place children into multi-age classrooms within the same developmental plane. Our Early Childhood environments are specifically designed to meet the needs of children in the first plane (0-6 years of age) and lay the foundation for later work. Children in the first plane use their senses to understand the world.

Children in the second plane (6 to 12 years old) begin to move from concrete to abstract reasoning and have a vivid imagination. Children of this age also love to be social and we prepare the classroom environments so that they may work together and explore topics of interest.

Children in the third plane (from 12 to 18 years of age) are working to make themselves into the adults they will become. We support the adolescent experience by allowing plenty of opportunity for debate, through class meetings where they work on the social experience as they dive into social justice issues in their academic work.

- Maria Montessori

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