Peace education was a cornerstone of Maria Montessori’s vision and she knew that direct, respectful communication is the way we move toward peace. Indeed, problem solving is the foundation of a child’s learning. We do this by modeling, practicing, and reflecting on how we interact with others. Each classroom has a special space, object, or process for communicating upsets. Children in a Montessori setting invite a friend to come and be with them as they respectfully communicate their hurt feeling, concern, or desire.
In the Primary classrooms the children have peace stones to help them express their feelings.
Recently, Sadie Betz, Lower Elementary student, presented a gift to each of the Primary classrooms. She painted beautiful Peace Stones with a picture of the flower that represents each classroom, Rose, Pansy, Tulip and Sunflower. What a wonderful way for Sadie to share her talent and give back to her former classroom and program.
Mahatma Gandhi, with whom Dr. Maria Montessori shared a number of communications, said in a speech he gave at Montessori Training College in London in 1931, “If we are to reach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with the children.”