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Four planes of development age 6 to 12 by Dr. Maria Montessori. Essay

Absorbent mind: first plane of development where the child has the capability to absorb large amounts of information with ease, as they are sensitive to specific skills characteristic: distinguishing feature or qualities of something childhood development: Child development refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence emotional development: the development of a full range of emotions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. fine motor: is the action involving the small muscles of the hands, as in handwriting, sewing or knitting. Four planes of development: Dr. Montessori saw the human being going through four planes, or stages, of development with each plane having unique characteristics and opportunities for learning gross motor.

Gross motor involves the large muscles of the body, as in walking, running or swimming. intellectual development: being capable of analysing understanding and evaluating concepts to make sense out of the world around them moral sense: the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. physical development: is the development of the body and organs. prosocial behaviour: or “voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another”, consists of actions which “benefit other people or society as a whole,” “such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering social development: refers to an alteration in the social order of a society this may include nature, social institutions, social behaviours, or social relations spiritual development: is a journey in maturity of an individual’s identity from spiritual infancy to spiritual adulthood. In this process, the secular mind decreases as the sacred increases through a series of disciplines.

In this academic paper we are going to look at the child age six to twelve and the characteristic the child posses in one of four planes of development by Dr. Maria Montessori. Within this plane of development I will be explaining physical, social, emotional, spiritual and cognitive development of the child and how this develops throughout childhood. For many children, these years from six to twelve are the glory years a time of “calm and steady growth” and “expansion of interests”. At this development plane called “childhood development or the age of serenity-rudeness” (notes, 4th February, Connelly A) children experience a major transformation. This transformation leads from the sponge-like absorbent mind of early childhood to the reasoning, thinking adult mind. What I understand is that the absorbent mind, learning happened almost automatically, but the “reasoning mind” needs to be consciously somewhat forced in to the learning process.

First we are going to look at physical development of the child between 6 and 12 years. “Physical growth over all is slow but still steady, this is the time where girls are generally taller than boys. Another gender difference is that boys out preform girls in certain physical task.” Girls may also out preform boys in some tasks. “Muscle coordination and control are uneven and incomplete in the early stages, but children become almost as coordinated as adults by the end of middle childhood. Gross motor development is one factor that improves at this stage because of the muscle co-ordination and strength that develops over time”.(Bailey, D.R. iTunesU) “There are some known gross motor deferences between genders that is, girls are superior in accuracy movements as where boys are superior in forceful, less complex task.” All this deferences between boys and girls begin to emerge and they notice that they are not the same. “Fine motor skills improves rapidly at this age, they learn to use their hands independently and at the end of the middle childhood stage they have mastered this skill and continue to use this throughout adolescence”.(Bailey, D.R. iTunesU).

Children may also over estimate their physical abilities and take risk in some tasks.(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) Children at this stage uses high energy levels and are in most cases really active.(notes, 4 February. Connelly. A) I believe that may be one of the reasons that children between the age of 6 and 12 need more sleep. “Intense activity may bring tiredness. Children need around 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night” There are a lot of factors that play a role in the physical development of a child at this age; “nutrition, health and deceases, genetic factors, stress, hormone” play a role in the physical development(Bailey, D.R. iTunesU). Talking about physical development I notice that there is some connections between this and social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development. Statistics shows us that “Physical attractiveness” one of 6 “popularity settings” in a social environment the others are; “prosocial behaviour, assertiveness but not aggressiveness, outgoing personality, self control, ability to enter a group and initiate interactions”.(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) To be social is a way of life and a basic need for any human.

According to Erik Erikson’s social development studies this age group fall in to “stage 4 namely the industry vs inferiority.”(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) What I understand about the “industry vs inferiority stage” is that they earn a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities but at the same time needs encouragement and in some ways to be praised or to just be acknowledge. “The question of good and evil comes into the light of consciousness as a special characteristic of this age”.(The absorbent mind, pg. 138) This means that the child have a good sense of right and wrong and also believe in strong morals. The child creates them selfs and there personality or “character” in this stage of development. “The period from 6 years is therefore the most important part of life regarding character too, since here it is formed.”(The absorbent mind, pg. 138) “In the social setting the child has a herd instinct”, they tend to follow a group. “Friend become important at this stage.

Females tend to have fewer but closer friends then males. They generally have several best friends but will tend to only spend time with one or two at a time”.(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) “There is a sense of freedom and independence as there is some separation between the parents and the child e.g. sleep overs.”(notes, 4 February. Connelly. A) In social circle “intimacy and similarity” play an important role in the age 6 to 12 when it comes to friendships between children for they “understand one another and is there for emotional support” .(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU). Emotional development children are very “sensitive especially criticism but jet they are critical of them selves, They can be touchy, irritable, and very aware of being treated unfairly. They also have a strong moral sense. their moods may change easily. they appear to be more cautious and less impulsive and self centred.” (notes, Connelly. A)

As I noticed in middle childhood girls tend to be more interested in self-improvement and has worries and fears relative to school and friends. “In a spiritual sense of development the child seems to be more observant and interacts with the world in search of the answer of where they fit in in this world”.(notes, Connelly. A) “It is a revelation of the spiritual man to know, to love and to serve. It comes only by one’s own experience and development, not through preaching.” in this statement by Maria Montessori in The absorbent mind pg. 162. I believe that spiritual development can only be practiced by oneself and that your own actions grow your spirality. This actions can be “creativity, to be observant, relationships , looking for reason and awakening of ones self and inner-being.” (notes, Connelly. A)

Talking about reason, in this “childhood development sage” intellectual development is all about “logic and the active and appropriate use”. Piaget theory states that the child is at the “concrete operation stage.”(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) The “concrete operation stage” in my opinion means to be able to feel, touch and manipulate the task at hand and makes it easer to understand the logic behind it. “Piaget also states that the child acquires mental ability of seriation, classification, concentration this allows for logical thinking.”(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) At this stage the children also learn and build their skills to “think without concrete materials and use their imaginations moving from concrete to abstract”(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) The child also develops the skills and concept of “reversibility” this is where the child does a task and can go backwards to see and understands the process more clearly.

“The child can now see the relations of other people and there point of view in other words they can take multiple aspects into account”.(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) The child understands the feeling of empathy and is more desiring. “Developmental physiologist suggest that the difficulty children face in solving problems [in preschool] may stem from memory limitation and not cognitive” (Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU) the child has the ability but not the memory and in the next development plane they attain this skill. Thus the child has an “increase ability to handle information and short term memory improves”(Dr. Meyer, J. iTunesU). for instance when the memory improves the cognition improves. “The secret of good teaching is to regard the child’s intelligence as a fertile field in which seeds may be sown, to grow under the heat of flaming imagination.

Our aim therefore is not merely to make the child understand, and still less to force him to memorise, but so to touch his imagination as to enthuse him to his inmost core.” (To educate the human potential, pg. 15) “It has been found that during this period, the child can submit to the mental work necessary in schools. He understands what a teacher says and he has enough patience to listen and to learn. During this whole period, he is constant in his work, as well as strong in health. It is because of these characteristics that this period is considered as the most profitable for imparting culture.” (The Absorbent Mind, pg.17) “Children can deal with and understand more complicated concepts and ideas. They make conclusions based on things they have learned in the past.”(notes, Connelly. A) The child at the stage has a really “good imagination” and is really “curious about the world around them” “they have a global view” and this should be seen as a chance to use that to the best advantage to learn as “learning does not come automatically.”(notes 4 February. Connelly, A)

The outcome of this academic paper gave us and insight in to the child age six to twelve. We noticed that there are many aspects of the child and that it is a complex study. Each stage in life is a time of growth. Childhood is a time to link dependence with independence. children in this development stage are exploring their future potential they are expanding there world outwards. All that we can do as adults is to be role models for them and to encourage them in any way possible.


Bailey, D.R. 2011. PSYC 209. Life cycle development. iTunes U Connelly, A. 4 February 2013. Lecture notes, methodology.
Dr. Meyer, J. 2013. Lecture 17. Principals op human development, Missouri state university. iTunes U Dr. Meyer, J. 2013. Lecture 18. Principals op human development, Missouri state university. iTunes U Dr. Meyer, J. 2013. Lecture 19. Principals op human development, Missouri state university.
iTunes U Montessori, M. 1967. To educate the human potential, Clio Montessori series: Kalakshetra Publications

Montessori, M. 1949. The absorbent mind, Printed by C. Subbarayudu, at the Vasanta Press, The Theosophical Society, Adyar, Madras http://tsl.org/family/2010/06/montessori-for-ages-6-12/

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