The 2nd Plane of Development
The Second Plane of Development spans the ages 6 – 12. During this time of life, we see the birth of a social personality, a big imagination, and a strong need to know “why”. They come into the classroom knowing how to be individuals and now they are ready to start being a more social being. Lessons are no longer one on one but in a group of peers. The classroom becomes a practice society where children learn to interact with each other, problem solve together, and find their place within the community.
There are a number of big changes we see as children transition from the first plane of development to the second.
Children in the second plane are strong both physically and mentally. They are less prone to illness than they were during the first plane of development. They will grow taller, lose their baby fat and their teeth. They are more active and ready to explore the world with great effort and enthusiasm.
Separation from the family
A desire to be separate from the family is one of the first signs that a child is entering the second plane of development. They may walk a little ahead of the family or want to stay home while the family goes out. They love their family and still want to be a part of it, but they may not want to cuddle and hug as often. This is part of establishing their independence and courage to go out into the world as their own person.
Children of this age are driven to form bonds with their peers. Through this connection, they learn about daily social interactions and how to get or not get things from their friends. To support this, lessons are given in small groups, classroom problems are solved as a whole community, and grace and courtesy lessons are given to help children learn how to moderate their behavior and how to interact with one another.
At the start of the second plane, we notice the first signs of “tattling.” Children are trying to discern is “Is this right or is this wrong?” At this age we let them know that yes, this is right, or no, this is wrong. There is no need to reprimand but just help them build a framework for how we are together in our community. The tattling phase is usually just at the beginning. With time and more experience living with a group they will begin to understand the shades of grey and see things from various viewpoints. As they get older, they begin to look outside the classroom and understand the “rights and wrongs” of larger global issues.
It is a characteristic of the second plane to be drawn to people they see as influential.
This can be an older student or a sibling. It could also be a person in history, an athlete, or another famous person. With this in mind, we offer many stories of people, their achievements, and the impact they have had on history. Through their interest in these people, children see the many ways they can shape their own identity.
Developing of intelligence
Developing intelligence is acquiring the power to reason. There are many ways to help a child build their intelligence. One of the most important ways is to allow children to think through problems and solutions. We let them talk about problems, whether in math or an issue in the classroom, and resolve them with their peers. This kind of back-and-forth dialogue confirms what they know, and this confirmation develops their intelligence.
The power of abstraction
Early on, children in the second plane are still using hands-on materials that will gradually guide the pathway to abstraction. As they get older, their ability to reason and use their imagination allows them to take concrete activities (such as making fair shares with long division material) to the more abstract (doing long division on paper). This movement from concrete to abstract happens in many different areas of the classroom.
Children of this age love big work. You can find them making large posters, long reports, group projects, and planning going outs. In their mind, the bigger the better. Within this kind of work children learn a lot about time management, long term planning, and the sharing of work with diverse personalities. Presenting something you worked long and hard on to the class creates a deep sense of pride and the drive to do even more big work both in and out of the classroom.