Third Plane of Development (12 - 18 years old)
Child at this stage are in the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Significant physical growth, self-scrutiny, impatient expectations, lack of self-confidence (often disguised as bravado), desire to belong, desire to contribute to society, questioning of rules and the belief that their experience cannot be understood by others characterize this period.
As an adolescent’s body is undergoing an amazing transformation, the adolescent’s mind and personality are changing radically as well. Their cognitive abilities improve in three major areas: thinking abstractly, thinking hypothetically and thinking about their own thought processes (meta-cognition).
The primary task of an adolescent is to form a coherent sense of self. While humans undergo significant identity changes throughout childhood, it is not until adolescence that we have the capacity to recognize these changes in ourselves. Forming an identity facilitates our ability to take on adult roles in society; if we know ourselves, we are better able to make choices about careers, religion, politics, and personal relationships.
Dr. Montessori stated, “Now is the time…when they should develop the noblest characteristics that would prepare a human to be social, that is to say, a sense of justice and a sense of personal dignity.” The development of these characteristics in a classroom, as well as in the urban environment beyond the classroom, is what NNM offers the 12-14 adolescent in the third plane of development.