Montessori Peace Education - Current Issues
Kyra Schlosser, UMA graduate and co-owner of Clarksburg Children’s House in Clarksburg, WV, included the following essay in their school’s October parent newsletter. Read how CCH-Montessori School prepares a peaceful environment which, on an even larger scale, prepares each child to be the future peacemaker in this world, as s/he comes to understand the meaning of respect, sensitivity, and tolerance.
Enjoy the essay and lovely CCH classroom photos:
Bullying has been in the forefront of the national news recently. While an unpleasant and tragic subject, it does present us with the opportunity to explore the ways we can approach our young children concerning this issue. Beginning an age-appropriate discussion now can raise awareness in our children of how their actions can effect those around us.
Maria Montessori believed that the child’s personality and behavioral tendencies were formed in the first six years of life. In fact, Montessori herself looked to the child to be the bringers of peace to the world. The Clarksburg Children’s House (as do most Montessori schools) begins each year concentrating on the social graces and introducing the concept of “our peaceful classroom”. The ideas presented here encourage the child to become respectful not only of their physical environment, but of their peers as well.
Working Side by Side
The teachers at The Clarksburg Children’s House use many techniques to introduce the child to the social graces. Firstly, we model desired behaviors. We roll play scenarios that the child may encounter. We give the children tools and words to resolve conflict. We introduce the children to other cultures in order to understand that although we may look or act differently, we still have common needs and feelings. The introduction to the child of the concept of belonging to a global society will allow them to understand that our actions can effect the environment around us.
Sharing a Snack
It is very likely that our young students in the primary classroom are experiencing their first social situation with peers rather than adults and siblings. Our goal is to provide the child with a community that they can actually live in and feel a part of. We believe that the first 6 years of a child’s life is the time to teach appropriate ways of communication. Being considerate of one another, speaking to each other in soft voices, paying attention when someone is speaking to us, only calling each other by our given names, only touching one another with prior permission... All these things are encouraged at school and should be practiced and modeled at home.
Choosing to Work Cooperatively in a Group
Bullying very often stems from a person seeking to take control away from another. The Montessori method gives the children tools they can use for a lifetime to prevent or confront bullying that may occur by them, to them, or around them.
“The child is both the hope and promise for mankind.”
~Dr. Maria Montessori
Thank you Clarksburg Children's House!
©United Montessori Association. All rights reserved.