Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Montessori Perspectives: United Nations World Day of Social Justice, February 20th

united nations day social justice NAMC montessori cosmic education children holding hands around world
Social justice is more than an ethical imperative, it is a foundation for national stability and global prosperity. Equal opportunity, solidarity and respect for human rights — these are essential to unlocking the full productive potential of nations and peoples...
— Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for the 2011 World Day of Social Justice

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.

 The last chapters go back to the psychological point of view, urging on educators the supreme importance to the nation and to the world, of the tasks imposed on them. Not in the service of any political or social creed should the teacher work, but in the service of the complete human being, able to exercise in freedom a self-disciplined will and judgment, unperverted by prejudice and undistorted by fear.
—Maria Montessori
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.

united nations day social justice NAMC montessori cosmic education raking leaves

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 Education

The 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.

— NAMC Staff

As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, February 15, 2012.


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