The concept of peace is nothing short of a cornerstone of Montessori education. How’s that? Dr Maria Montessori had high hopes of improving civilisation and “saving humanity” through Montessori school education with a focus on peace.
So how can peace be promoted in Montessori schools, playgroups and also at home? Let’s take a look at the top 5 things teachers and parents can do!
1. Be a peaceful role model
We all know that being a great role model is important, so when you’re leading by example, never forget about peace. Raising your voice, losing your temper, arguing and even complaining can be replaced by forgiveness, compassion, understanding and kindness.
2. Talk about peace
What’s the easiest way to start a conversation about peace? How about asking children to simply define it? Tell them what your own concept of peace is, and compare it with the often incredibly enlightening perspectives of children. ‘Peace’ can mean anything from the absence of war to a simple moment of quiet, so have an open mind and remember there’s no wrong answers.
3. Talk about resolving conflict
Disturbances to peace are usually the result of conflict, and so talking about how quarrels can be resolved peacefully is important. In a Montessori school, a ‘peace object’ is often defined and then held by children in turns as they each get an uninterrupted and respectful turn to speak. Montessori playgroups may also have a ‘peace corner’ or ‘peace table’ filled with items designed to provide calm.
4. Love the environment
What do peace and loving the natural environment have in common? Everything! Talking about why the environment matters and how it can be looked after as a community is a perfect way to teach the value of peace, through things as simple as nurturing plants, caring for animals and tending to a garden.
If you had to think about an activity that is inherently peaceful, reading a book might be near the very top of the list. And if the content of that book is particularly peaceful, such as teaching kids about other cultures or introducing topics of respect and positivity, then that’s even better.
So never forget, peace is not only at the heart of happy people and cultures, but also the very heart of every Montessori school including Casa Mia Montessori Community School.