Absorbent Mind

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Four planes of development

Development can be defined as an act of developing from birth till maturity.Development is a series of re-births. Dr. Maria Montessori said, child is always in a continued stage development. Child is continuously growing whereas adult is already matured. Development occurs in stages, almost like steps. She further noted that within each stage of development, there is a creative period of intense acquisition of skills or knowledge and then a calmer period of consolidation, i.e. absorbing and making that knowledge one’s own. When a child is born, he goes into four sages of life. His life takes many changes. As a child goes to each stage, his needs change. After all these changes, he reaches to maturity of social, mental and physical change and development. Each plane is approximately of six years and has its own special characteristics as follows: Infancy

This stage starts from birth and last till six years. This is the period of transformation and the characteristic of this period is known as the “Absorbent Mind” in which the child’s mind is like a sponge, absorbing all that is in the environment. The first plane of development is further divided into sub-phases: first sub-plane is from birth to three years and the second sub-plane is from three to six years. Characteristics:

In the first sub-plane, physically, the child is uncapable of looking after himself. He’s physically vulnerable i.e prone to diseases and illnesses as his immune system is still developing. At this age, vaccines are given to the child so that he can fight with his illness. He gets new teeth, tries to sit and crawls. His hair and skin are soft. The child is unable to co-ordinate with the movements. He does not have balance and equilibrium. Right from the birth, his sensory nerves are active. He can smell, taste and see. The child looks at the mother’s face when she is talking to him. He observes the sound. The first sub-plane is an important period of development which is known as the “Unconscious Absorbent Mind”. This is the stage of creative development, where he develops his skills, will and motor movements. The child has a type of mind that an adult cannot approach. The child can hardly make any movements after the birth. In the second sub-plane, the child acquires motor co-ordination through imitation, work and play. He learns to speak and forms the language center. He learns language just by living in the environment. E.g. in the early years of childhood, the child can quickly and spontaneously absorb the new language. The period from three to six years is a period of consolidation of the first sub-plane which is known as “The Conscious Absorbent Mind”. The child creates the person he will become once given an appropriate and specially prepared environment to work. Dr. Maria Montessori said that during the Absorbent Mind, the Sensitive Periods are the strongest and facilitates the child’s learning process. Sensitive Periods are called the “Windows Of Opportunity”. Here, the child does not distinguish between good or bad. There is formation of ego and creation of mental faculties: memory, order, will, reason, intellectual thought and mental structure. He is a concrete thinker. He wants to know “What”. There is sensorial exploration of the world. In this process, the child learns and becomes the part of the society. He adapts to their culture, food, traditions and so on. The child wants to be free to work independently within structured environment doing real activities with an intelligent purpose. By this age, the child becomes factual explorer. Needs of the Infant:

The child needs love, warmth and protection. He also needs order and a sense of security, as much independence as he can handle at any given time. He requires freedom in service of order. An environment full of rich and diverse stimuli, purposeful activities and experiences must be provided to the child. He needs to learn how to relate to others, to...
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