Nurturing respect for self, others and the environment ... through academic excellence, global perspective, and environmental awareness
The Montessori philosophy is one by which individuals develop and educate themselves toward their greatest potential in a way that is in harmony with their own nature.
It is a philosophy by which individuals develop a complementary social structure which recognizes the needs of the individual as well as the needs of the group. It is a philosophy which considers children the greatest hope for the future.
The essentials of education for peace are built into the Montessori curriculum at every level. At the preschool stage (ages 3-6), when children are in an absorbent state of mind, they are exposed to the Continents and Peoples of the World, thus providing the basis for a global view of life and humanity’s part in it.
At the elementary stage (ages 6-12 years), students are in a reasoning, abstracting, and imagining state of mind. At this time the Peoples of the World are studied in depth and from an historical perspective, with the help of the timelines, leading to the discovery that all humans have the same fundamental needs, and the fulfillment of these needs vary according to the potentials present in each given geographical environment and historical era. By emphasizing the family of man/humans and the interrelationship of all life, students begin to realize that the individual is not an isolated, fragmentary entity, separated from the life around him, but rather an integral part of a potentially harmonious whole.
For Montessori, education represents the most powerful and universal potential for a thorough reconstruction of human society, which demands a transition from an ambience of war to an ambience of peace. Greed, envy and competition, which lead inevitably to hostility and war, can be replaced by generosity, cooperation, and mutual support, creating an atmosphere of peace. This is not simply an idealist’s dream, but a practical long-range goal that each human being can either work for or work against. Not moving actively toward this goal is to let it slip further and further out of reach.
- Ursula Thrush, Founder of The Montessori School of the Golden Gate