Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Peace Education

Some Montessori companies have begun putting out a "curriculum" on peace education.

AMI does not have a specifically "Peace Education" album or specific presentations.

If the Montessori method is being fully implemented, there are rare needs for needing anything "extra" to obtain a peacable environment where children are learning conflict resolution skills naturally and deeply; however, we cannot always have the perfect Montessori environment.

Some thoughts to consider for the elementary level:
(hint: you want a "yes" answer)

Are you
  • focusing on cosmic education?
  • all past, present and future?
  • human contributions from our ancestors - gifts to be used and passed down to subsequent generations?
  • are the children doing lots of hands-on work of their own choosing and interest?
  • going deep with their interests?
  • getting out into the community, building connections, sharing resources?
  • providing the children with natural interactions when in a conflict (more like what they will experience as adults)?
  • do the materials and the human/plant/animal interactions meet the children's internal needs?
  • have they learned empathy naturally (without forced empty apologies)?
  • have they been learning responsibility when harm is done (caring for a person they've hurt)?
If so, then a peace education album is not necessary. 

If any of the answers are no, pick up an elementary theory album and the introductions to ALL subject areas. You might be surprised what treasures await!



Some thoughts for the primary level:

  • Are grace and courtesy lessons/skits happening routinely? 
  • Is the adult engaging in conversations with the children? 
  • Are we exploring other cultures through the continent/culture folders? 
  • Are we telling stories, having the children tell stories, reading a variety of books from various styles and resources? 
  • Are the exercises of practical life including exposure to a variety of cultures through each area of EPL - including art, care of the environment, care of self, control of movement, preliminary activities? 
  • Is walking on the line happening daily? All stages over time? ALL stages? Barefoot on a textured line where the children can move blindfolded and still find their way around safely and peacefully? 
  • Is the silence activity happening routinely as the children are coming to a state of normalization? 
  • Is there joy in the work done by the children? Are they exploring themselves or being led by the adult? Are they writing their own ideas with the movable alphabet, creating their own math problems, gaining art skills without pre-planned full-class craft projects? 
If not, go back to the theory album - go back to the foundation of each subject and get those children creating! :) 



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