What is an education for peace?
Can small children learn to resolve their conflicts with honesty and with words?
How do we build a community of respect and courtesy in a classroom?
Can we find a way to extend the sense of community and peace to the world outside the classroom?
These objectives are inherent in the Montessori philosophy of education. Dr. Maria Montessori recognized the spirit of love within all children and emphasized the need to educate children about themselves, their community, other cultures, and the environment.
This concept can be represented by the flower of peace model - by studying the relationship of body, mind, emotions, and spirit. Children develop a greater sense of self-confidence and well-being through these activities. They develop a sense of peace within themselves.
Children benefit so much from being able to do the hands-on stuff and working with other students because they get this sense of working together, trusting in themselves, and independence from adults along with the interdependence within the community.
It really helps them grow as people and be responsible within the classroom. Children learn grace, courtesy, and respect for others. They learn to cooperate, take responsibility for their actions, and resolve differences peacefully. As children grow older, they develop a sense of responsibility to the community outside the classroom.
From an early age, the Montessori curriculum focuses on building an understanding of and compassion for other people. Respect for basic human rights is integrated into the study of diverse cultures.
In a Montessori classroom, children learn how to be stewards of the environment. This is done by encouraging children to take care of the environment both inside and outside the classroom.
Whether at home or in the classroom, there’s a simple activity all adults can do to help cultivate peace in children - reading books! Below are some of our favorite books to read together.
Books about Peace and the “Pieces” that Help Make Peace!
Aline Wolf, Our Peaceful Classroom (Montessori inspired)
Alicia Jewell, The Peace Rose (Montessori inspired)
Sonnie McFarland, Honoring the Light of the Child: Activities to Nurture Peaceful Living Skills in Young Children (Montessori inspired)
Grace Byers, I Am Enough
Tami Charles, All Because you Matter
Nathalie Goss, We All Belong: A Children's Book about Diversity, Race, and Empathy
Cheri Meiners, Accept and Value Each Person
Cheri Meniers, Talk and Work it Out
Mem Fox, Whoever you Are
Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy, The Juice Box Bully: Empowering Kids to Stand up for Others
Bob Sornson, Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning about Empathy
Lauren Payne, We Can Get Along: A Child’s Book of Choices
Minda Devorkin, Beau the Bee
Sesame Street, We’re Different, We’re the Same
Jayneen Sanders, You, Me and Empathy
Maud Roegiers, Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids
Paul Showers, The Listening Walk
Tomie dePaola, Quiet
Scott Magoon, Breathe
Gabi Snyder and Stephanie Graegin, Listen
Samantha Berger, The ABC’s of Kindness
Elizabeth Cole, Kindness Makes me Stronger: The Children’s Book of the Magic of Kindness and Empathy
Elizabeth Verdick, Words Are Not for Hurting
Jacquelyn Stagg, At School: Kindness Starts with you
Shelly Moore Thomas, Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace
Lisa Cox and Lori Hockema, Not Yet
We hope you and your family are enriched by the time you spend together reading and talking about peace. Together, we can create a more harmonious and peaceful planet for all of us.