Peace Education

Community ~ Peace ~ Sunflowers

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Primary East has been busy building our little 3-6 community- figuring out everyone’s unique strengths and how we can all work together to create an environment of collaboration and support.
It is wonderful to observe the children working and playing together portraying their individual personalities.


Some are the gentle guide, giving lessons to new friends.
Some are the nurturing friend, providing comfort to others when they feel sad.
Some are the constantly curious, providing unending questions for us to explore.
Some are the ones who bring the laughter out of all of us.
Some are the quiet observer.
Some are the ones who always sing while they work.
It’s an amazing array of differences that create our little community.

As we continue to get to know each other and form bonds, we are also discussing respectful and peaceful ways of communicating with each other.

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The children have these thoughts about peace:
Peace is sharing- Beau 
Peace is kindness and sharing and everything in the world- Molly 
Peace is being nice and sharing and being quiet- Layla 
Peace is being quiet and peace is my family- Marina
Peace is being kind- Tessa 
Peace is being peaceful- Finn 
Peace is caring about others and making things easier for friends- LouElla 
Peace is caring about others-Ainsley 
Peace is getting persons what they want-Jonah 
Peace is a flower-Mclane 
Peace is being quiet and being kind-Shepherd 
Peace is being kind, showing love and sharing -Aldo
Peace is caring and sharing-Violet 
Peace is sharing -Max 
Peace is going to bed when it’s bedtime-Joey 
Peace is giving things and sharing- Evey 

We have also been studying sunflowers, thanks to the giant sunflower Dianne gave our classroom. The children have carefully removed the sunflower seeds with tweezers and used the seeds for some of our counting works before sprinkling them in the woods for the animals.  With inspiration from Van Gogh, the children have been practicing how to paint sunflowers which now decorate our classroom.

It’s been a wonderful beginning to our school year- thank you for sharing your amazing children with us!

~Sara and Simone

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Montessori and Peace

HISTORY

Today marks the United Nations International Day of Peace. Maria Montessori was a vocal advocate for peace. For this work, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times. She began lecturing on this topic after she left Italy when Mussolini came into power. In a time of great geopolitical instability, she proposed that education was the only way to heal and help society stay out of war. She truly believed that children were the future and had that thought foremost in her mind when she was developing the Montessori pedagogy. She spoke on the topic many times and those lectures are compiled into a book: Education and Peace. She speaks of the importance of education in the quest for world peace:

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What is the task confronting education? It is above all the task of mending breaches, filling in gaps that are vast and serious. Its primary goals must be the realization of the values of the human personality and the development of mankind.

Anyone who sets these two goals for himself might be inclined to believe that mankind’s progress depends on the formation of a peace-loving human personality and that the sum total of individuals educated with such goals in mind would be a peaceful society by that very fact alone.

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PEDAGOGY

The Montessori pedagogy, at its core, believes in showing respect for all living things. We respect the child as a person and listen to their needs and desires. We communicate with the children and teach them to communicate with us and other people in a kind and respectful way- even when they disagree. We respect nature including the animals and plants with which we come into contact. This respect becomes a part of the child’s being that will remain as they grow to adulthood. This mentality allows people to embrace differences, listen without judgement, communicate effectively- the attributes that promote peaceful relations.

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PEACE AT MPS

So, what does this look like? You may have heard your child talk about the ‘peace rose’ or ‘listening to a person’s words’. At all stages of development we are working toward more self-control and respectful communication. The pre-primary class is working on identifying feelings and using the appropriate words to communicate those feelings. The teachers are giving the children many words, so that they can begin to understand and vocalize their feelings as they grow in this class. They are also learning how to control their emotions. As children continue on to the primary class, they have better self-control and more of an emotional vocabulary. The teachers can begin to step back and allow children to solve disputes on their own. Children will be able to identify when they need a break in the ‘peace corner’ to cool down. In lower elementary, children have more of an awareness of how they fit into society. They are learning more about other cultures and our place as humans in the history of the universe. They really begin to care about justice and doing the right thing. These sentiments grow in upper elementary and middle school, so they begin to do service projects to feed the desire to help and make a difference in the world.

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At Mountain Pathways, we are continuing Maria Montessori’s work in educating for peace. We believe that if children develop this respect for themselves and all living things at a young age, they will carry that with them into adulthood.

Please click here for more information on the UN International Day of Peace: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

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