Curriculum Matters: September 25, 2016
One of the most important principles of a Montessori education is “cosmic education”, an approach that involves helping children develop an awareness that everything in the universe is connected, interdependent, and forms a harmonious whole and that they themselves are part of and contribute to that whole.
Cosmic education speaks specifically to the “how” and “why” of delivering education. Maria Montessori believed that children are the peacemakers of the future, and that education was the way in which children could be raised as citizens of the world who would find ways to live in social, cultural, and environmental harmony. The interrelatedness of humans and all species is at the forefront of all Montessori teaching in the elementary curriculum.
Cosmic education lays a foundation for Montessori students to further explore connections between each person’s actions and behavior and the well-being of the universe.
Junior Level students begin their year with “The First Great Lesson”: the story of the origins of our universe, including the creation of our planet.
The Coming of the Universe describes how minerals and chemicals formed the elements, how matter transforms to three states of solid, liquid, and gas, how particles joined together and formed the earth, how heavier particles sank to the earth’s core and volcanoes erupted, and how mountains were formed and the atmosphere condensed into rain, creating oceans, lakes, and rivers.
Junior Level Talking Points:
The Solar System
Composition of the Earth
The Three States of Matter