International Day of Peace
“Averting war is the work of politicians; establishing peace is the work of educators.”
Montessori’s peace education establishes a mindset and practice of advocacy, love, and respect. Dr. Maria Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize on three different occasions. Her legacy lives on as she is now widely recognized as an advocate for peace and her educational philosophy is practiced throughout the world.
Montessori education addresses peace in a variety of ways, encouraging children to first develop inner peace. At its most basic level, the Montessori method does this by honoring the individual interests, passions and ability of each child; giving children space to develop confidence with making mistakes as they explore and the courage to fix mistakes; and inspiring them to be part of a community. Because each student is recognized as an individual, you will find children working on a variety of activities at any given time. This gives children space and encouragement to accept that differences between humans exist at varying degrees.
Inner peace gives children the foundation for supporting peace within their classroom, school, social and family communities. Communities are an important aspect of the Montessori philosophy in that there is an emphasis on the whole person and learning to function within a community is essential to the success of human endeavor. A successful community is made up of a variety of different talents, strengths, skills and goals. As our students engage in peaceful conflict resolution, modeled by the adults in the community, they learn to function as many parts making up a whole. As they assist in the management of the environment, including caring for the physical space, taking on important leadership roles within the classroom, and engaging in group discussion about how to make change for the better, students practice life long skills of considering others and building functioning communities.
Peace is at the center of the curriculum at MCS. This month each of the classes is engaged in creating space for peace as we prepare to celebrate International Peace Day on September 21st. Studies show that a proactive curriculum that promotes communication, community and self-advocacy is more effective than a punishing approach to bullying in schools. Ours is an approach that we expect will follow our students far beyond their structured educational experience.
By honoring each individual and supporting children in becoming their most authentic, passionate, courageous and determined selves, we provide the world with a powerful force for change for the better.
“Peace is a goal that can only be attained through common accord, and the means to achieve this unity for peace are twofold: first, an immediate effort to resolve conflicts without recourse to violence—in other words, to prevent war—and second, a long-term effort to establish a lasting peace among men”
(Education and Peace, Montessori, 1949, p. 27).
May you all find inner peace and enjoy a most lovely day of celebrating the beauty and hope of mankind on this day set aside for celebrating peace on earth.