The Montessori approach to education and life really holds the corner on authentic culture!
We provide the children with keys to the world (primarily through the sensorial materials) in the first plane of development: 0-6 years old (infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten) --- and keys to the universe at elementary (cosmic education), with the adolescent really finding his place in the history of the world by participating with society and working with the earth itself.
Through providing these key experiences, the child's time is freed up to explore his own personal interests, fully and thoroughly construct himself and, varying at the different ages, to explore the culture around him: first the culture of his own family, then that of the immediate community and/or school, then that of the entire world. By elementary, we are delving into the cultures of civilizations past and present.
Through Exercises of Practical Life: first from the child's own culture, then expanding out to include experiences from other cultures.
Through Sensorial experiences: first explore consistent key materials on weight, length, volume, smell, sight, color, etc. And then through the child's work with the sensorial aspects of the world: the sandpaper, continent/painted, climatic, and oceans globes; the puzzle maps for the world, each continent, and the child's own country; exploring the flags of various countries, their meanings and histories.
Through the Language experiences: cultural folders for exploring by continent, then by theme within a continent - striking about conversations about what we see in the photographs. Studying biomes and climates of each area, how that affects the local people's choices of lifestyle.
And that is just for the 3-6 year old!!!
A Montessori Nugget with a brief description of where to find cultural aspects in the AMI-style 3-6 albums.
At elementary, we study civilizations of the past, use history question charts to guide our research into past cultures, as well as present cultures.
In geography, we look at economic geography in an interesting format - looking at trade products and usages; we look at the lifestyle of people in various regions of the globe, based on climate. We learn about the rays of the sun, the tilt of the earth - and the affect on climate - and the ensuing affect on the people. Indeed, everything we do in geography (earth studies) leads to the affect on the local people in each region.
In biology, we look even further into biomes and how those affect all the living creatures, including the people.
In language, we explore a variety of literature, learning about peoples of other areas and times, with dramatic performances and other experiences to highlight the beauties of a variety of cultures.
Music should be listened to that comes from a varietoy of cultures. Art experiences are keys-based, so that a child can read about an art form and have the basic skills already in place to follow their interests and explore the art of all cultures and all times.
We look at the history of mathematics and the contributions of a variety of people to our understanding of math and geometry....
and even language history and development - how cultures have affected one another's languages.
There is so much more I am not including! Children really do come out of a Montessori education with a strong sense of culture; a strong sense of being part of something bigger than themselves, where they play an important role; and a strong sense of *culture.*
Other Montessori Nuggets mentioning Culture - a non-inclusive list:
Elementary Geography Table of Contents - with notes of where to find Geography in Primary albums
Art Presentations at all ages
Fifth Great Lesson - Story of Numbers
Benefits of the Prepared Environment
Great Lessons and Keys Lessons - Some Thoughts (Cosmic Education)
What Do We Provide Our Children?
Spiritual Preparation of the Adult - Who Owns the Learning?
Peace Education in Montessori
A portion of the Primary Biology Introduction
Cursive or Print Part 3
Handwork in Montessori