Cosmic Education

Cosmic education can generally be described as the unifying element in the Montessori pedagogy. Simply stated, it avers that all things are interdependent, that humans have a role in the universe, and that each of us have a “cosmic task.” Cosmic education states, grandly, that a human developmental process underlies all growth and, further that education has a role to play in this development. It is the overarching theme of a Montessori classroom, a concept that is unique to the pedagogy, and the thread that holds the fabric of a Montessori experience together. It is a belief that theoretical structures, in all areas of study, should find practical use within our classrooms.
Cosmic education has four main aims. The first is to lead to the development of a whole human being. Academic achievement is not the only goal; rather, the goal is the realization of each child’s natural potential. Learning involves the physical and emotional being, not just the intellect. The second aim is the formation of several types of relationships. These include the relationship between the child and the universe, a sense of marvel and respect for the vast scale of things, and an appreciation of the dignity of all things; the relationship between the child and the processes of life, creating a sense of the process of growth, an understanding of the role of cycles, and the perception of death as a continuation of natural law; and the relationship between the child and humanity, a realization of common needs, a celebration of diversity of culture, and the perception of oneself as a reflection of one’s own culture. The third aim is the realization of responsibility, to all life, to the human species (through family, community, country, and society), and to self, through movement and reflection. Lastly, cosmic education endeavors to create a sense of independent action in the child, teaching him or her to take but give in return, to share willingly and with compassion, and to appreciate conscious and unconscious service.
And how is this implemented? A Montessori education leads children from the whole to the specific, displays the positive aspects of culture and history, employs concrete activities in the curriculum that lead to abstract concepts, uses impressionistic elements and emotions in lessons, and challenges students with ideas, while still providing reflective space towards the process.
Cosmic education, then, is not a singular area of study but rather a connective web that unifies the curriculum, providing both respect and responsibility to the child throughout the school years.

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