//A Perspective on Earth

A Perspective on Earth

 

After receiving an Honorary Fellowship at the Educational Institute of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1946, Maria Montessori was asked her nationality.

 

“I live in Heaven, my country is a star which turns around the sun and is called Earth,” she replied.

 

During the first few weeks of school, Elementary children hear about beginnings, imaginative and exciting stories about the beginning of the universe, the relative size of our sun and Earth and how matter has behaved on Earth according to laws, which, as far as we know, apply throughout the universe.

 

Here are some photos from the first story, “The God Without Hands,” sometimes called “The Beginning of the Universe:”

 

There are three states of matter and the state of matter and its behavior depend upon the temperature at which it exists.

On Earth, the heavier materials settled at the bottom and the lighter elements floated at the top.

As the elements settled, they were still very hot and exploded through the Earth's skin.

After some simple demonstrations, a model of a volcano erupted.  Observers imagined Earth’s surface completely covered with volcanoes—what a mess!

After the vapor in the cloud cover yielded rain and more rain, eventually the craters and cracks in Earth's surface became oceans and rivers.

Children were so excited to learn more about volcanoes, the sun and Earth and the other planets that they fairly rushed to the shelves to get books with more stories and explanations:

"Let's look up 'volcanoes'!"

As models of volcanoes erupted in the sandbox and Three States of Matter and other experiments filled the lab tables, other stories were emerging.

 

Today, in a lesson following the presentation of “The Timeline of Life”, children learned that they could create their own replica of The Timeline of Life with individual figures representing life forms they could add themselves to each of the Periods on a Blank Timeline.

 

Here, for example, in the Cambrian, the very first period of life on Earth, Trilobites ruled the seas:

Placing a figure of a trilobite on a red line that represents its ascendancy in the Cambrian Period.

 

The scene of children in a state of wonder over so many life forms brings to mind the Montessori maxim:  “One becomes a well-balanced adult only if one has fully been a child.” (1930) Using the hand and the imagination, how much more human could we be?

 

It is Maria Montessori’s birthday tomorrow, August 31.  In 1950, she was described as “the symbol of our great expectations for education and world peace.”

 

How do you think looking at Earth from her perspective could help us, and enable our children, to forge a peaceful existence?

 

"The child's parents are not his makers but his guardians." The Secret of Childhood (1936)

 

 

 

2017-11-14T22:22:50+00:00By |Early Education|