International Culture Day
Updated: Jul 9
by Ms. Anisa Foy
One of the central tenets of Montessori Education is to prepare the child to be a global citizen. Education is a preparation for life, and with the fast pace of our technology driven world, it is important to expose the child to all aspects of their world if we are to give the child the correct preparation for life.
The child will not have this preparation if education is given in isolation. For this reason exposure to his world starts very early in the primary years and continues throughout the lower and upper elementary years. Most Montessori schools have a special day in the year when this study is celebrated and shared with parents. This is what International Culture Day is all about.
What are the benefits of this type of learning and introduction to the global picture at such an early age?
An understanding of spatial geography; where they fit in with relationship to other countries and continents.
The children begin to see at a very early age that though people may live in faraway places, may look different, speak different languages, dress and worship differently, they all have the same basic needs. This realization and acceptance is the beginning of understanding others.
Being given the global picture the child begins to understand what these basic needs are. Everyone needs food, clothing and shelter. Everyone needs to feel safe and protected. Everyone needs art, music and education.
This understanding of every human being’s basic needs is what will eventually bring peace in our world.
With exposure to all these differences comes an appreciation of the differences
The world is full of a wide variety of fauna and flora. Human beings use some for food and some for art. Children learn to accept the different cuisine which follows what is found in each country. For example most people in Asia have a rice based diet because the climate in those countries is suitable for growing rice. Europe on the other hand has a bread, meat, and potatoes based diet.
The children develop a deep appreciation of cultures and food that is different to their own.
This all inclusive program continues all year long in all the Montessori classrooms. There is a lot of reiteration which helps the children to expand and add to their learning. By the time the children complete their primary and elementary education; they are well informed citizens and have a well-rounded global picture of the world they live in. This is why we continue to teach and celebrate international cultures every year.