An Education for Peace. The bedrock of Montessori’s philosophy is the notion that we must find a way to live in a more conscious, connected, ultimately peaceful way. Her work, as a doctor and as a teacher, was informed by the experience of living through the horrors of two world wars. She believed that a more a conscious, capable human spirit could be fostered through education.
The Lyceum children began their journeys in Montessori at the age of two and a half. Now in their twelfth year, we see the results. What was once putting the work back on the shelf, ready for the next person, is now a formal structure that has become work in their community, care for their younger peers, a D&D summer camp praxis project and participation in Model UN in New York.
Most of this work is intangible, though. Working against a “results based” larger context, we place great emphasis on how they care for themselves and their environment and call to them at every opportunity to actively participate. They are still, as they always have been, steered back toward each other to “solve it”. Sometimes this chafes a bit, occasional squabbles break out, but there are also moments of stepping back to support or listen before jumping in with an opinion. The result is a peaceful, collegial, engaged community. Come visit us and they’ll probably make you lunch!
We opened this year with the Peace Table project in The Lyceum Gallery. This was an exploration of the iconography we use to express wishes for peace. You can read about it on the gallery page.
Each spring, the children attend Montessori Model UN. This year, representing Rwanda, they presented position papers on an array of topics: maternal health in sub-Saharan Africa (midwifery), sustainable options to deforestation (sorghum board), the water crisis in Yemen (cloud seeding), and the protection of journalists in war zones (press shelter alliances). This is an opportunity to dig deep to research their country and topic, prepare a position paper and summarize it in a one minute speech. Once in New York, they work in committee groups to draft resolutions. Diplomacy and consensus-building are strongly emphasized. This year, two Lyceum students were nominated to present final resolutions in assembly…an incredible feat for such a small school!