International Culture Day is a fascinating day for our students here at Arborland. This is the day in which the students reflect on their knowledge and understanding of the various cultures and countries they have studied during the school year. Each class studies a continent, and within that continent focuses on one country to research further. On the day of the event, students present their learning through detailed projects and cultural performances.
At Arborland, our students learn their place in the world very early on as Montessori education focuses on preparing children to become global citizens. Their studies begin in the primary level with exposure to puzzle maps of the world and the 6 major continents. As the students enter the elementary level, they continue learning about countries, states and capitals within each continent. At a deeper level, students start to understand that the specific climate and resources of each region dictate how people live and why they are the way they are. In short, they learn why people are different.
Our students also learn that each person has basic needs, called "Fundamental Human Needs." Material needs include shelter, food, clothing, transportation, defense, and communication. Spiritual needs include the need to be accepted, to be loved, to have a purpose and to feel special. In short, they learn what all people have in common.
Our students begin to understand and accept each culture, which leads to tolerance of one another. Tolerance leads to peace and that is the importance of International Culture Day. Dr. Maria Montessori stated, “Within the child lies the fate of the future.” Our children are the future citizens and leaders of the world. We must nurture their compassion, understanding, and tolerance in order to have a peaceful future.