The goal of the Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace (MISP) is to connect the theory and practice of Montessori with the wider field of peace education, seeking to nurture human development, specifically through the adolescent’s commitment to peace. This is accomplished through an interdisciplinary developmental approach to peace curriculum, authentic abroad experiences for global engagement based on peace and sustainability and a bi-annual adolescent summit focused on a pressing global issue, where Montessori youth work side by side experts in developing sustainable solutions, locally and globally and supporting structures and coordination for the chapter student peace organisation, Montessori PeaceX.
“Most important in thinking about young people’s participation [in society] is the sequence of phases in perspective taking, and the insight that the child is actively trying to construct the world of the other, while simultaneously constructing her own understanding of that world.” Roger Hart, Children’s Participation: From Tokenism to Citizenship, 1992
Costa Rica Abroad Experience
The Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace has designed a comprehensive learning experience combining a holistic natural history and tropical science research approach to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest with the fundamental values of peace. As a global hotspot for biodiversity and home to the United Nations mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica is an enriched learning environment. Where better to explore the importance of biodiversity and sustainability than in a rainforest ecosystem? Where better to discuss peace than with students from around the world dedicated to its realization? This abroad experience is a series of opportunities in perspective taking, cultural exchange, confronting current events and global crises while providing a mode for authentic social action, at home and abroad.
This experience is a compliment to the important learning around peace and biodiversity inherent in Montessori classrooms and schools. Our approach is one of integration into the disciplines, thus all participating schools, with MISP’s help and resources, must incorporate biodiversity and peace into their school studies beginning before the Costa Rica trip and continuing upon returning home.
The International Montessori Adolescent Summit serves as a key experience to unite, empower, and mobilize adolescents via examination of current global crises for constructive social change.
The International Montessori Adolescent Summit brings together youth from Montessori Schools around the world to tackle one current global issue each year and build on the universal Montessori skills necessary to act locally and globally. At each summit, adolescents apply these skills, acquired in their Montessori experience, to global realities:
- an understanding of complexity applied to a particular issue
- an ability to identify the significant components of a problem
- a capacity to focus and concentrate on an issue
- an ability to ask essential questions about a problem
- a habit of conscious conversation in a problem solving capacity
- a desire to engage in dialogue that builds trust and innovation, and
- a hope to construct bridges across local, national, and international sectors.
(Fisher & Ury. (1991). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York.)
Complex global issues are a compelling and developmentally appropriate subject for Montessori middle and high school youth. This International Montessori Adolescent Summit, for ages 14-18, takes the adolescent into real world institutions using Washington, D.C. for its place-based learning realities.
The Montessori Adolescent Summit is organized by the Montessori Institute for the Science of Peace (MISP) and is made possible by the support of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association (NAMTA).
PeaceX Student Chapter Organisation
The Montessori PeaceX student organization is a local/global convergence of academic study, personal development, and social action focused on peace and sustainability for Montessori adolescents. Participants consolidate their vision of peace, forming a manifesto and roadmap of social action. They research, discuss, and act on issues of peace and sustainability in collaboration with their school community and other adolescent peace groups. Montessori PeaceX outreach provides integration of knowledge and action addressing the most urgent reform issues of our time. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your Montessori PeaceX Chapter starter-kit.