Citizens of the world is a term that you will hear across our nursery and it is woven in to the very fabric of what Rozey Days Montessori offers.
So what exactly does this term mean? Well to understand global citizenship, we must look at the origins of Dr Maria Montessori's philosophy. The Montessori Method was created, free from religious or political influence. I say this, fully aware that Dr Montessori lived through two world wars. Witnessing first hand, what intolerance and an inability to co exists peacefully, can do to humankind.
The Montessori philosophy is rooted in citizenship of the world which is woven in to every part of the curriculum, fulfilling Dr Montessori's mandate to find a global, human centered way to bring up children. Perhaps this is why it has spread throughout the world, flourishing in the most diverse and varied populations across the world.
Montessori's vision for the way out of conflict and peace was clear: Raising children, not as members of a group or creed, but as citizens of the world.
So what can you as a parent do to encourage this global citizenship?
1) One of the first things you can do as a care giver is to foster independence (surprise surprise, that word again!). Independence leads to confidence and promotes critical thinking. This starts from the toddler years. From managing their own dressing and toileting, to preschoolers helping with family chores and right on to adolescence when young people can research issues that they are passionate about and join in with debates! Independence allows young children to learn cause and effect, allowing them to start to reflect and offer critical thought on small things in their every day life. Remember, that it is only through direct experience and practice that children regard themselves as capable and empowered to change the world for the better.
2) Offering opportunities for community action work and participating in age appropriate ways. We often underestimate our Children's capacity for learning about social justice. Hands on charity work and leading by example are easy to incorporate in to your daily routine. My now ten year old will not pass by a homeless person without offering to buy them a hot drink, something he has been encouraged to do since he was three years old! Even pre schoolers are capable of understanding the buzz associated with helping others. A litter pick for your neighborhood, donating toys together to a local charity are all ways for children to witness altruism in action.
3) Show your child that their are people across the globe who have completely different ways of viewing the world. This may seem like a hugely grown up concept, in fact the opposite is true. It is in those early years that children develop an understanding of who they are and how they fit in to the world. This comes from understanding that our diverse world is full of different cultural beliefs and these differences are to be celebrated. Participating in cultural events outside of your own, offer children the chance to immerse themselves in the beauty of the world. It leads to a deep understanding that whilst our differences are to be celebrated and outlined, there is actually much more that unites than divides us.
4) Start big and take it from their. Think macro to micro
In a Montessori classroom, you will find lots of science and geography related material which focuses on the solar system, the earth, continents, our countries and then our cities and towns. Montessori's start with the vast universe is entirely deliberate. Children learn that we are part of something way bigger than our families. Staring with the unimaginable, we explore the vast, limitless universe and then work our way downwards, ending with your child's home and family. This builds towards the understanding that not only are we part of our community on a local level but also part of something much greater, citizens of the world.
I would love to hear how you are creating future citizens of the world, please feel free to leave some ideas for us to share as a community.
Much love and peace,
Rozey- mama, teacher and proud citizen of the world