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Montessori in a Minute: Peace Education

Dr. Maria Montessori’s teaching philosophy laid the groundwork for something far beyond academic success: She wanted it to impact all of mankind.

"An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” —Dr Maria Montessori

Peace Education aims to equip students with the interpersonal skills needed to be a good member of a thriving community. Teachers encourage self-reflection, conflict resolution, and problem solving. They model ways to communicate, offer positive language choices, and steer children in the direction they need to go in order to reach the best conclusion. As children learn to navigate conflict, they also discover their innate capability to lead themselves and others through hardship.

The Value of Peace Education

For younger children, Peace Education manifests itself through a calm classroom environment where students can learn sharing, effective communication, and healthy ways to work through conflict. While the entire classroom is designed to promote peaceful learning, most classrooms have a designated space (often a peace corner or peace table) to allow children a controlled space to work through their emotions. Teachers and older children in mixed-age classrooms model productive ways to work through negative or overwhelming emotions.

Older children are ready to tackle more complex topics of peace and how to be a productive global citizen. Hudson Montessori School elementary students spend months preparing for the annual Montessori Model United Nations where each student serves as a delegate and focuses on challenges, such as social justice, racial inequity, and poverty, for their assigned country. Our students also regularly participate in community outreach and partner with local volunteer organizations.

Montessori classrooms run as autonomously as possible, and resolving conflict is no different. After students have been shown how to effectively communicate their needs, it is not unusual for Upper Elementary or Middle Schoolers to hold student-led meetings to discuss, brainstorm, and resolve conflicts. As they learn about the issues facing their local and broader communities, they often brainstorm their own ways to make systems more equitable. Maria Montessori believed that, by raising generations of children who embrace living respectful, peaceful lives, they would contribute to future world peace. We continue to have hope that this ideal is sound.

The Montessori in a Minute Series

Montessori schools have at least five key areas of learning in the Montessori environment: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics, and Culture. And, many Montessori schools like Hudson Montessori School include Peace Education as another key area. Montessori schools utilize specially designed tools like a peace rose or kindness jar to promote experiential and sensorial learning that students can repeatedly practice at each age level.

This Montessori In A Minute series regularly explores the unique benefits of Montessori philosophy, its fundamental materials, and areas of the classroom. For all parents at Hudson Montessori School (Jersey City, New Jersey), the school hosts monthly Parent Education Nights to learn all about the Montessori method and how the students learn curriculum components using a Montessori framework.

To learn more about Hudson Montessori School’s interdisciplinary, theme-based learning approach to education, the Montessori philosophy and methodology, or how the school fosters the love of learning for children age 2 to sixth grade, sign up for an open house tour.

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