Cosmic Education: The Heart of the Montessori Elementary Classroom
cos•mic 1. Of or relating to the universe, especially as distinct from Earth. 2. Infinitely or inconceivably extended; vast.
Dr. Montessori recognized that all of science and history tell portions of the same story: the continuing creation of the universe. Cosmic Education tells that story. In a uniquely Montessori way, the experience offers children context for, and reveals connections between, such subjects as astronomy, chemistry, geography, history, and biology, to name a few. "Learning" the academic subject matter, however, is secondary to a loftier educational goal.
In their book, Children of the Universe, Montessorians Michael and D'Neil Duffy sum up the purpose of Cosmic Education neatly: "This six-year Montessori experience gives elementary students opportunities to appreciate their roots in the universe, to sense their place in its context, and to embrace the role this defines for their lives."
To give parents a glimpse of the important role Cosmic Education plays in the Montessori Elementary classroom, we've answered key parent questions with brief explanations and related quotations from Children of the Universe: Cosmic Education in the Montessori Elementary Classroom. We recommend this very approachable resource as a valuable addition to any parent education library.
Q: What is Cosmic Education?
A: Cosmic Education is not itself "the curriculum" or a set of facts but rather a decompartmentalized way of presenting stories that open up lines of inquiry which roughly correspond to traditional elementary academic subjects.
"The purpose is not to create walking encyclopedias of knowledge... The "stuff" the students learn is almost incidental to the enrichment of the context they gain for understanding themselves and their place in the universe."
Cosmic Education launches youngsters into society practiced in thinking about who they are, as individuals, as part of the human species,...