Peace (Montessori)

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Peace, in the Montessori method, is understood as the development of a universal empathy for all living things. It emphasizes that every living thing has the right to live and function, a principle that humans cannot alter[1].

Dr. Maria Montessori believed that morality cannot be learned vicariously, and it is only through interaction with others and the environment that individuals can truly appreciate and understand natural morality. Montessori's teaching materials for Fundamental Human Needs stress that although moral codes may be rooted in specific cultural practices, a Universal Morality exists and should be upheld[2].

She advocated for the acknowledgment of our differences by celebrating what we share as humans, co-existing on Earth. Promoting peace and understanding among all humans is a fundamental aspect of Montessori education[3].

Montessori Quotes on Peace

"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war."

— Maria Montessori, "Education and Peace"

Research and Critiques on Peace in Montessori


The emphasis on peace and universal empathy in the Montessori approach fosters a sense of global citizenship and responsibility[3]. Teaching children about peace and respect for all living things can contribute to a more peaceful and compassionate society.


Critics of the Montessori method argue that while teaching about peace is a noble aim, the emphasis on individual learning may limit opportunities for students to learn how to navigate conflicts and disagreements, a crucial aspect of peace-making.

Comparison to Other Methods

Most educational philosophies incorporate aspects of respect, empathy, and understanding into their teachings. However, Montessori's explicit emphasis on peace and universal empathy for all living things is somewhat unique and is central to the method's overall philosophy[1].

Glossary of Montessori Terms

The Glossary of Montessori Terms is a collection of specific terms and vocabulary that are related to the Montessori method of education, primarily focusing on the theory and practice for children aged 3 to 6. The jargon used by Montessori educators offers a unique insight into child development as discussed by Maria Montessori. The 'Montepedia Glossary of Montessori Terms' originated from a glossary that was compiled by the late Annette Haines from the Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis, at the request of Molly O'Shaughnessy from the Montessori Centre of Minnesota. The reason behind the creation of this glossary was to supplement O'Shaughnessy's lecture at the Joint Annual Refresher Course that took place in Tampa, Florida, in February 2001.[4] The glossary has since been expanded and updated with additional 'Montessori Terms'.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Montessori, M. (1949). The Absorbent Mind. New York: Henry Holt and Company.
  2. Montessori, M. (1956). The Child in the Family. New York: Avon Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Duckworth, C. (2006). Teaching peace: A dialogue on the Montessori method. Journal of Peace Education, 3(1), 39-53.
  4. Haines, A. (2001). Glossary of Montessori Terms. Montessori Training Centre of St. Louis.