Periods Of Development
Children have what is needed to be able to grow, a mind full of excitement and imagination. By giving them the freedom to use their mind letting them make their own decisions, children are able to overcome limitations.
A child develops and grows through stages, There are, four periods of development. Each period has three identical patterns that happen during development. They are:
a) a goal in development b) a direction to reach a goal c) a given sensitivity that makes the goal easier to reach.
The First Period is from birth to six years : Here children experience fast cognitive and physical growth. They need proper care and nutrition, with good sleep and a balanced diet to provide for the rapid growth of brain and body . The child starts to become its own person mentally and physically. The main thing needed for emotional development is a stable, secure and organized life. The child’s environment should have physical activity and mental stimulation.
The Second Period is from 6 to 12 years; when the child grows at a more regular pace. Muscles develop, bones strengthen and baby teeth are replaced by new teeth. The child is more resistant to disease and has a lot of physical and mental energy . It is very important to guide the child towards positive things with intellectual and physical activity to avoid behavioral problems.
The Third Period is from ages 12 to 18. This is the start of puberty and the second rapid physical growth. Adults have to be very patient and understanding towards the child.
Teenagers often have hormone related symptoms like irritability , moodiness, acne, identity issues and conflict between parent and child.
These changes could be damaging for the teenager. Adolescents should eat well and get good sleep.
The Fourth Period is from ages 18 to 24, a transition from dependence to independence and adulthood. Montessori saw how important it was to have strong roots in education from birth, letting the child grow spontaneous to develop communicative skills needed for solving problems as an adult.
Dr. Montessori’s main points are:
- People grow in stages; by observing the child the educator can notice their abilities and their potential within the learning environment.
- People grow through interacting with their environment; the learning environment should be made according to the child’s stage of development. This interaction is best when is self chosen and developed by the child’s own interests.
Montessori teaching believes in giving the child freedom to develop in the learning environment; helping the child do things on their own. She didn’t believe in forced learning, the main thing is the development of one’s personality and not the amount of information. By having a balance of encouragement of initiative and independence in learning the child develops self discipline and responsible social behavior. Educators have the responsibility to direct a child’s activities to divert his instinctive needs preparing him for the world at large.