Peace, education and children: discover the portrait of Maria Montessori

Peace, education and children: discover the portrait of Maria Montessori

If people are at peace, they can perform at their best. This implies that what people are looking for is peace, according to the ambassador of peace, Prem Rawat, in order to achieve great goals in life. Children can also accomplish more tasks successfully, provided that they live at a harmonious environment, and that their school is located at a peaceful setting.

Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was born on August 31, 1870, in Chiaravalle, Italy. She was a medical doctor, instructor, and innovator. She was renowned for her initiatives in updating the way children are taught. Her findings are built on a theory that children can learn naturally and independently as long as they are at peace. This is an article about the role of Maria Montessori in peace and education with children.

Maria Montessori's education and early career

She was from a middle-class family. Her parents had good education with high degrees, who maintained the limitations concerning the roles of women in the society. Her family moved to Rome in 1884, and she joined the boys' technical institute. Later on, she majored in Medicine at the medical University in Rome. She graduated in 1896 as the first female doctor in her country.

She specialized in pediatrics and psychiatry, and had compassion for the impoverished children who went to her clinics. Her frequent relationship with children made her discover that every child is intelligent regardless of their social class. When she presided over the Orhtophrenic School, she conducted focused her interests on early childhood education.

Peace education in children

Montessori developed a theory, which highlights the key principles of early childhood development, as follows: 

  • Observation and independent learning 
  • Support and Feedback 
  • Learning environment and absorbent mind

Learning through observation

Montessori believed that children are independent learners, which means that they can learn on their own. At the young age, babies and children learn by observing their surroundings and doing. Montessori adopted the self-directed approach and gave children opportunities for hands-on activities to learn and assimilate knowledge.

In peace education, her theory relates the ability of children to act exactly like their surroundings. If children are exposed to abusive language and alcohol in their early childhood, they will act exactly in the same way when they grow up.

For sure, if a child is first exposed to detrimental, derogative language, they use will the same language, too when they speak, and will not be able to show respect to anybody. If they continue to be raised in an adverse environment, they will become worse and are likely to indulge in heavy drinking and other immoral acts, unless something is done.

Learning environment and absorbent mind

In addition, Montessori paid attention to the impact of the learning environment on children's education. For example, when a child grows up in a hostile society, she or he will think that violence is the normal aspect of societal life. Frequent exposure to aggressiveness, street fights, abusive words, insults and use of force will shape the child's character into an evil person, full of negative emotions.

The potential of the child's mind to absorb everything they are exposed to pushed Montessori to innovate the theory concerning early childhood development and education. Therefore, to impart a child with peace knowledge, it is essential that they be raised in a pacific environment, which is conductive of life in harmony and respect.

Frequent support and feedback are needed

According to the Montessori theory, independent learning does not mean depriving children of all support and correction from the teachers. To succeed, it is essential that children be given constant support and feedback throughout their learning.

In other words, following children in their education is essential to keep them motivated; furthermore, they have to be corrected when they happen to go off the right track, to know right from wrong. In short, peace education, as Prem Rawat said, is certainly vital in today's world to promote peace in the society.