Cosmic Education: The Keys to the Universe
Cosmic Education is primarily dedicated to the child in the second plane of development. Dr. Maria Montessori and her son, Mario after years of observations, carefully designed this method. Dr. Maria Montessori used the term cosmic education for children ages 6 through 12 years. As the children enter the second plane of development, the human tendencies continue to operate, while new physiological characteristics begin to assert themselves: the emerging power of the imagination, the drive to know the reasons of things, a need for abstraction and intellectual activities, a drive to perform extended and elaborate work, and a focus on issues of morality. Each of these aspects of the child receives its own measure of attention as Cosmic Education is presented through the years. Even though in a physical classroom we usually see children grouped in ages 6 - 9 and 9 - 12, Cosmic Education and the approach towards the child does not change.
With this thought the child must begin to understand that laws are not oppressive, but rather are a natural part of life and enable us to maintain harmony and order. Cosmic Education reveals to the second plane children that all things in our Universe are connected. This is how Maria Montessori manifests her concept of Cosmic Education. “The laws governing the Universe can be made interesting and wonderful to the child, more interesting even than things in themselves, and he begins to ask: ‘What am I?” What is the task of man in this wonderful Universe? Why we struggle and fight? What is good and evil? Where will it all end?”
The Elementary Team has the amazing and forever exciting task to bring to the children a curriculum that offers the child the Keys to the Universe. The guide approaches any subject with a story that feeds the senses and opens the imagination. Coined by Mario Montessori as the Great Lessons, there are five: First Great Lesson - Coming of the Universe and the Earth, Second Great Lesson - Coming of Life, Third Great Lesson - Coming of Human Beings, Fourth Great Lesson - Communication in Signs (Alphabet), and Fifth Great Lesson - The Story of Numbers. These stories that reveal all the mysteries of the universe are the foundation for all academic learning in the child’s life span.
These lessons provide an all-encompassing, holistic vision of various disciplines combined where the children actively connect to many areas of study as the narration unfolds. They see how the whole relates to its parts and how the parts are responsible for the whole. The Great Lessons tell of how each particle, substance, species, and/or event has a purpose and a contribution to make in the Universe. Gratitude becomes second nature and expressed in the work of the child.
Dr. Montessori’s gift to the Elementary guides was a way to teach children ages 6-12 the beginnings of the Universe, concepts of the origins of life, the evolution of humans, the development of language, and the history of mathematics in a interactive method that crossed all disciplines. The Elementary teacher's goal is not to rely on a syllabus but the child, to be inspired by their curiosity and guide each student using lessons, materials, and providing experiences, both inside and outside of school to bring these great stories to how it is relevant to their life. Day to day the child experiences tangible sensory moments that stems from one of the Great Stories and becomes a part of the child’s past, present and future in relationship to the universe.
In the next few months we will be exploring the depths of Cosmic Education as it unfolds in our classrooms. We look forward to sharing its beauty and wonder with the Creo Community.
Peek to the elementary classrooms: