History, Geography, & Culture
The Montessori Geography curriculum is two-fold: physical and cultural. Physical
geography discusses the formation of the universe, the creation of the earth, and
all of its physical properties. We introduce history and geography as early as age
three. The youngest students work with specially designed maps and begin to
learn the names of the world’s continents and countries. Cultural geography is
the study of human society and culture. The children gain an awareness of the
world around them by exploring other countries, their customs, food, music,
climate, language and animals. The two together show the child that we are all
members of the human race who must co-exist peacefully in order to survive.
The need to define and “find” oneself; the need to understand one’s place in the world. These fundamental human questions of self and the world are inherent in all of us. The youngest of children have a need to belong, to know they are safe, to understand their place in their immediate community – the family. It is within the confines of the family where the infant first learns about their place in the universe. The rituals and routines of the family are absorbed unconsciously, allowing the child to later learn about and identify with other cultures. Using their senses, they expand beyond the family to discover the natural world.
This helps to raise their consciousness about other people, to gain an understanding and tolerance, and therefore, compassion for all the people in the world. Later in elementary school, the students see the world’s cultures in greater depth. They learn to treasure the richness of their own cultural heritage and those of their friends.