Montessori and Peace
Montessori pedagogy focuses on the social, intellectual and moral development of a child. Dr. Maria Montessori believed that if education truly focused on the psychological and spiritual needs of the child it could bring peace to the world, in essence end war.
In the book Unleashing Human Growth and Potential it says, “…Montessori’s graduating in 1896 as a young woman with a radical, progressive commitment to improving the lives of those living in poverty or suffering neglect (Cossentio and Whitcomb,112).”
Through observation Dr. Montessori, a scientist, was able to create an environment that was suited to the needs of the children. The needs of the child were both in the size of the object being used, such as the tables and chairs, but also developmentally appropriate. This is what Montessorians now call the Prepared Environment.
The Prepared Environment helps the Montessori Method gives tools of peace both directly and indirectly. Montessori is actively trying to cultivate peace within its environment through the materials, environment design as well as the Directresses within the environment.
Montessori focus on peace through the way the children are nurtured throughout their entire time in a Montessori environment. When children come into a Montessori environment they are treated with curtesy and respect. The child’s natural development is honored. The Montessori Method nurtures children to become a “citizen of the world” by giving them particular tools and the time to create themselves. Through work, the child can have peace. The child can have Peace with themselves, peers, adults and the environment.
Dr. Montessori’s education is used all around the world. It is universally recognized. During a time of war Dr. Montessori was an advocate for the Montessori education to become a means to help heal children that had been affected from war. Montessori says that children are the greatest hope for peace.
“We have seen children totally change as they acquire a love for things and as their sense of order, discipline, and self-control develops within them as a manifestation of their total freedom. We have seen them labor steadily, drawing on their own energies and developing them as they work. The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.(Montessori, 1972, pp.35-36)”