Montessori: Education for Peace

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with the children.” Maria Montessori, a great admirer and personal friend of Gandhi, certainly agreed. Montessori asserted throughout her life that children were the redeeming hope of civilization, and that education was the method through which world peace would spread. If children were allowed to develop according to their own inner guides, Montessori believed, their tendency would be to exhibit joy, understanding and acceptance, and would lead to a more peaceful society.

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Freedom Within Limits: The Structure of a Montessori Learning Environment

So how does a Montessori classroom develop responsibility within a child so she is able to work independently? Through every aspect of the prepared environment! The entire classroom, also known as the prepared environment, is carefully arranged, and work that is appropriate for each child’s developmental stage is chosen and organized on the shelves. At any given moment there are multiple activities available that will perfectly meet the needs of each individual child. Even where materials are placed on each shelf is a deliberate choice...

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