CA News

MONTESSORI MONDAY 14 2014-15

Added Jan 27, 2015

Peace Activities

Observers to the Montessori classroom often acknowledge the peacefulness of these environments, in which children are attentive to their work and to each other, mindful of their volume and pace, and conscientious about the impact of their choices. While many of the Montessori materials protect these qualities as an intrinsic objective, some materials explicitly address peace and mindfulness as part of the child's work.

Peace activities, like the one illustrated here, allow the child to choose actions that lead to peacefulness in the environments, either through their engagement with peers or through activities that help children to feel more peaceful themselves. The work here, for example, is an opportunity to practice being quiet and still as a choice. So often, children\\'s stillness is associated with being naughty, but stillness isn\\'t a punishment. Stillness allows for attentiveness and observation, to ourselves and to our environment. By teaching silence and stillness as a work choice, Montessori classrooms foster children\\'s ability to regulate when they need some quiet. Children can choose these activities whenever they choose... and why a child chooses the peace activities may not be immediately apparent. Some children choose them when they\\'re feeling wiggly and want a chance to moderate that. Some choose it when they\\'re feeling quiet and want some space from noisier friends. Some choose it by other inner motivations, reminding us that there are complicated and mysterious worlds in the children\\'s inner lives, ones that may only be apparent to us when we watch quietly enough to let them appear.

Catherine McTamaney, Ed.D.

Christopher Academy Alumna

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