The Montessori approach to education has a connectedness between all areas of the curriculum. One area ties into another while the door is opened to a different, yet related component.
-Culture determines what we know– the sum of all the angles in a triangle; what a screw driver is used for; how to use a computer to find out where Peloponnesians are.
-Culture determines what we don’t know– how to catch a fish by hand; how to build a dugout canoe and navigate the Seas without chart or compass.
-Culture determines what we want to be– lawyer; dairy farmer; computer programmer; doctor; shaman; pearl diver
It demonstrates that all people have the same fundamental needs and places an emphasis on the similarities among the human race. Children are taught to respect people from other races, countries, and religions. The geographical factors influence how people live as they adjust to their environment.
At this point, the teacher involves the class in a study of life and culture on earth. The curriculum then branches into different directions, such as: (a) geography, (b) culture ( mannerism of life ) , and (c) history. Children are taught history parallel to the concept of time. Discussions and further studies include paleontology and archaeology, and still further back through time to the beginning of time, or the creation of the universe. The cycle is complete.
Also, the lessons of the universe are related to the Montessori philosophy of Cosmic Education. It begins with the creation of the universe. This plants another seed of knowledge. The child begins to assemble questions of: (a) spirituality, (b) morality, and (c) social consciousness. The Montessori presentations begin with the introduction of the whole subject first and followed by more detailed lessons. This concept helps the child to recognize that first he/she is a citizen of the world, and then a member of a country and society. They begin to realize that it is all connected to responsibility.
The Montessori philosophy of Cosmic Education would not be complete without the 3 year curriculum of the universe. By working with hands-on materials, and impressionistic stories of creation, the child develops a new sensitivity toward: (a) himself, (b) other people, and (c) the environment, or the Earth. The child develops a consciousness to respect and care for life and the environment, and to become a steward of the earth.