Peace Education in the Montessori Classroom
In our modern world, it is so easy to get sucked into conflict – online, on the news, with our family and friends. It is important that at a very young age, we begin to learn how to settle our differences and appropriately handle strong emotions.
Peace education is a major component of the Montessori classroom. Adults model peaceful and respectful behavior, and because Montessori classrooms are composed of mixed age groups, older students serve as role models for younger children.
Most classrooms have a peace corner or peace table, at which two students can go to resolve a conflict or a single child can go to calm down and feel peaceful. One strategy is the use of a peace rose. Children learn to take turns holding the peace rose while speaking about how they feel. They stay at the peace table until they have heard each other and resolved their conflict.
With very young children, adults model and coach the children with words they can use at the peace table. Older students can do this independently. At the Elementary level, when the imagination takes off, students enjoy role-playing and solving problems in small groups. Elementary and Middle School age students may participate in student-led community meetings, in which conflicts are discussed, brainstormed, and resolved as a group.
Going hand-in-hand with peace education is the Montessori Grace & Courtesy curriculum. Students practice simple lessons such as how to greet others, say please and thank you, tuck in chairs. At the core of these lessons is respect for others, self, and the environment. Montessori students engage in community service at every level – within the classroom for youngest students and outside the classroom and the school for older students.
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.