Stages of development

The four stages of development show the characteristics of the human personality. They are universal and show the different physical, psychological, social and cultural needs of different age groups.

Maria Montessori developed them based on her observations in order to best meet the needs of children.


The stages of development were also closely studied by her contemporaries. These often came to similar conclusions, even if there are variations.

Each stage of development builds on the previous one. For the best possible development, it is therefore desirable that each stage is passed through comprehensively. 





Maria Montessori speaks of a "rebirth" at the beginning of each stage and compares this to the metamorphosis of the butterfly, which has a completely different shape and different needs in the developmental stages.

Each phase has a special meaning for the child and is guided by particular sensitivities. Maria Montessori speaks here of sensitive phases. 

The different needs of the various developmental stages each demand different learning environments, materials, and support when working with the infants, children, and adolescents.