In 2007, the UN General Assembly proclaimed February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice, to promote the recognition that social justice is the underpinning of a peaceful and prosperous global society, and to encourage the international community in this effort. This important cultural theme is linked closely to Montessori cultural studies and Cosmic Education, and we have compiled some research resources for you to inspire celebration in your Montessori studies and classroom.
Observance of World Day of Social Justice should support efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.
Montessori Education and Social Justice
If we view social justice through the lens of education, it is clear that the Montessori philosophy embraces this concept. Dr. Montessori believed that social change is dependent upon the education of young children.
To Educate the Human Potential
Even at the preschool/kindergarten level, Montessori education lays a strong foundation for the holistic development of the human being by providing an environment designed to meet the specific needs of the individual, and appropriate to this sensitive period of development.
Maria Montessori, through her scientific approach of observation, also determined that a child of six years is ready to receive education in the context of what she called the Cosmic Plan. Montessori observes that considerable development of consciousness is already evident at this age, and that at this point it is directed outward, with a strong inclination on the part of the child to know the reasons of things, to explore morality, and to associate with others according to social patterns. Most importantly, says Montessori, is the method by which this intelligence and eagerness to learn is met.
As Montessori educators and parents, we are reminded of the amazing potential of our students and children, and our critical role in their development. The UN World Day of Social Justice can be a catalyst for re-commitment to the Montessori philosophy of putting the child at the center of education, surrendering to the child’s natural tendency toward creating a better world, and giving of ourselves in this service.
NAMC on Cosmic EducationThe NAMC Lower Elementary manual Five Great Lessons/Cosmic Education & Peace provides information and activities for Montessori educators to designed to provide an understanding of the history of the universe with a focus on humankind's place in that continuing story.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.