Maria Montessori was an advocate for world peace and said that the spirituality and peace of the children was foremost in her philosophy ~ not the materials. It was through her work in education that she came to realize that peace begins in the hearts of the children. Montessori said "...establishing lasting peace is the work of education," and she made it her life's work. As a result of her writing and speaking on the subject of world peace, Maria Montessori was nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
At Greenwood Montessori School, peace education is part of our daily routine. Our well-organized, attractive and calm environment fosters interest and cooperation in the children, reduces problems and promotes peace. Our Ground Rules ~ "Be Kind, Be Gentle, Be Safe" ~ are designed to protect the collective good of the community, as well as each individual child. In order to encourage the children to be respectful of one another and their environment, the teachers and other adults in the classroom model appropriate behavior, using soft voices, refraining from interrupting one another when working with a child and keeping personal conversations while in the children's presence to a minimum. By establishing the ground rules and modeling appropriate behavior, the children gain a sense of security, as they learn that they can expect from others the same as what is expected of them.
Additionally, through various conversations, books and activities, the children discover what it means to be a peacemaker and that they have the power to help make their classroom ~ and the world ~ a more peaceful place. With guidance from the teacher(s), the children are taught methods of peer problem solving, enabling them to resolve their own conflicts with classmates. These methods are very effective in promoting peace and orienting the children to a greater respect for others and a sense of wonder for the world around them.