To Educate the Human Potential, p. 6
Mask-Wearing and Cosmic Education
Mask-wearing, whether we like it or not, is a social movement of moral obligation. In the early childhood years, we stress being kind to all living things. In the elementary years, we help children explore and discover cosmic connections, understanding that all living things on earth rely on each other to live in peace and unity. In 2001, Camillo Grazzini told the 24th International Montessori Congress that “Cosmic Education results in creative attempts to lead a new and different kind of human life, with responsible participation in all natural and human phenomena.” (p 84) As responsible global citizens, is our duty to protect and defend our neighbors. At this time on earth, wearing a mask is a cosmic responsibility.
Practical Life Activities
Practical life activities are a means by which we promote independence and social responsibility in the Montessori environment. Hygienic practices of washing one’s hands, blowing one’s nose, and coughing or sneezing into one’s elbow are generally taught to toddlers and preschoolers and are sometimes reviewed in the elementary years. As children learn these practices, they gain independence over their bodies and contribute to the well-being of themselves and others. Mask-wearing can be approached in the same manner.
- Where to find a mask
- How to put on a mask
- Ensuring correct fit, covering both nose and mouth
- How to remove a mask and where to place it for eating and drinking
- Where to put a mask when you’re done wearing it for the day
Lower and upper elementary students can even learn how to sew masks. These masks can be used as a fundraiser for the school or as a service-learning activity where masks are donated to the community. Whether you decide to provide masks for your students or they are provided by individual families, masks must be washed to maintain hygienic standards and reduce the spread of germs. (Visit the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to learn more.)
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Tuesday, November 24, 2020.