Laniakea Montessori profoundly understands that to have peace, one must teach peace. To teach peace is to be peace.
Peace is a natural phenomenon that occurs when our methods of thinking and learning holistically integrate into all aspects of our existence. In the scientific world, we might call it "systems thinking." In our personal lives, we might refer to this process as "transformative learning." In our communities, the result can manifest into what is known as an "autopoietic learning community."
Laniakea Montessori School will extensively explore what education through peace looks within all subject matter: mathematics, language, geology, geometry, physics, biology, ecology, astronomy, humanities, music and art.
Children of all ages, even as young as the first 3 years of life can intimately understand this process within a prepared, authentic Montessori environment. You might ask, "How does this translate into a classroom of little ones?" Or "What do these concepts actually look like for my child at Laniakea Montessori School?"
Children must often suppress personally motivated urges and act with regard to others because of the way the environment is prepared. As Dr. Montessori writes, there is “constant practice in dealing suitably with situations that no teacher would be able to invent”. (Absorbent Mind, pg. 204) The child exercises patience and self-control when a sought-after activity is already being used. Children who are in need of help go to the waiting spot. We might see other children rushing to help someone who sits there. In contrast, traditional schooling often teaches the opposite of cooperation. Montessori says: “in the schools of today, no one may copy another’s work and to help someone else is regarded as a crime.” (Absorbent Mind, pg. 219)
The lessons for care of self often translate to caring for others. A towel or polishing cloth must be placed in the basket for the next person. Children help one another with buttoning coats, tying shoes or reading a recipe. Similarly, lessons for care of the environment such as watering plants and polishing wood encourage the child to make a contribution to the welfare of our communal space. The child learns not only how to care for the physical environment but also how to care for the psychological environment by respecting others at work, using soft voice tones, walking slowly and carefully. When a child is given freedom of speech, of choice and of movement, the repercussions of her actions become her responsibility. Freedom and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. “The child comes to see that he must respect the work of others, not because someone has said he must, but because this is a reality that he meets in his daily experience.” (Absorbent Mind, pg. 203)
The 3-year age span is a unique feature of Montessori, one that elicits protection from the oldest members and admiration from the youngest. Also, the non-competitive atmosphere nurtures understanding of different abilities. “Our schools are alive. To understand what the older ones are doing fills the little ones with enthusiasm. The older ones are happy to be able to teach what they know. There are no inferiority complexes, but everyone achieves a healthy normality through the mutual exchange of spiritual energy.” (Absorbent Mind, pg. 207)
Physician and educator, Maria Montessori understood that a new approach to education was necessary in order to realize a peaceful existence. Having lived through 2 world wars and witnessing mass devastation to humanity and the suffering of children, Montessori believed education was the most powerful and universal way through which to reconstruct society. A conscious and holistic education was a way to transition from war to peace and to reconnect humanity with all of creation.
Through her life's work, the development of the Montessori pedagogy embraced the knowledge that the hope for humankind rests upon discovering the child.