Congress Pillars | Montessori Education for Social Change

Congress Pillars


The themes will evolve over the four-day Congress: from the individual to the global.

The basis for peace

Montessori truly recognises the potential of each human being, each individual personality and respects the natural laws of his development. The child is the creator of future harmony and peace on the planet.

Questions to consider

  • The child of the 21st century
  • The natural laws of human development
  • Restructuring education so natural laws can flourish
  • The laws of human development applied to each learning stage
  • Montessori as a developmental science
  • New perspectives on education from modern neuroscience research 
  • Aligning Montessori’s emphasis on observation with the search for the unknown aspects of human development
  • How does the Montessori theory of the absorbent mind compare with modern neuroscience?
  • The steps to normalisation and why they are so beneficial
  • Cultivating maximum effort in every growing human being
  • Montessori’s theory of personality
  • How Montessori builds independence, self-confidence, responsibility, inclusion, and creative expression

“Character is not an item of knowledge which can be taught through learning or imitation. It is a conquest made during life through personal exercise and through personal experience.”

Maria Montessori, Education for a New World (1946)



The family and education for peace

Montessori acknowledges that the child is the universal source of love and emotion. When the child's potential is nurtured at home and in school and when he is guided by love of the environment and people around him, he will love all humanity. 

Questions to consider

  • How relationships in the home shape the child’s future interactions (school and workplace)
  • Helping parents understand the child’s needs
  • How adults can become aware of their influence in shaping the child’s personality
  • Different perspectives on error, reward, and punishment
  • Building good character and moral development
  • The keys to building self-discipline at home and at school
  • What every parent needs to know about observation, freedom, and discipline
  • Enhancing a child’s concentration and minimising environmental distractions
  • Nurturing the spiritual development of the child
  • Home design for building engagement, calm, and independence (the prepared-home environment)
  • Ideal indoor and outdoor environments at home and school
  • Creating environments of diversity and inclusion at school
  • The characteristics of a model teacher in the 21st century
  • The comprehensive preparation of the teacher who creates effective keys and lenses to see the whole child

"To follow attentively all the spiritual expressions of a child is to free him so he can manifest his needs and thereby guarantee for himself all the external means for his progress. This is the premise for his freedom and harmonious development and the germination of his energies."

Maria Montessori, The Child in the Family (1936)


The agents of social change

Montessori seeks to educate the personality that finds its roots in nature’s norms evolving in an optimally prepared environment. When these conditions are met, children achieve a high degree of self-realisation and focus in life’s pursuits and become the agents of positive social change. 

Questions to consider

  • The sociology that frames the societies of the 21st century
  • The impacts of modern society: modern technologies, constant change, and ever-present conflict and crisis
  • Finding effective social pathways to peace
  • The developmental changes that occur from ages 15-18 and that connect the adolescent to adulthood
  • The adolescent as a social new-born
  • The adolescent as an agent of social reform
  • How adolescents can prepare for an adult life in a society that is challenged by economic turmoil, political conflict, and ecological threats
  • Adolescents finding their social mission
  • Project activities that create a plan of study and life experience that develops a mission
  • The optimal prepared environment for the adolescent
  • How higher-level thinking facilitates the adolescent’s worldview

“We know that this new adolescent personality is the prelude to that other great and abstract feeling that from now on will put this new man in communication with that immense society, which is not a concrete society, but rather the people, his country. That society exists beyond what we can see, and is positive. That society exists and places itself in front of this newborn man, this society of great work and civilization.“

 Maria Montessori, "The Adolescent—A Social Newborn" (1938)



Peace and ecological unity

Montessori emphasises the role of the natural world and establishes that love of nature is a fundamental human characteristic of development, integral to how the human being, feels, bonds, understands his or her place, and grows up in harmony with all of nature.

Questions to consider

  • Progress and success in the context of environmental ethics
  • The relationship between peace and sustainability
  • Defining ecological unity
  • The basis of culture, education, and learning
  • How to develop and apply systems thinking to nature and the human-made world
  • Ecological living at home and school
  • How the curriculum can reflect ecological literacy
  • Defining the science of peace
  • Types of education that can lead to peace
  • Cultivating attachment to nature from birth
  • From universe origins to sustainability: perspectives and principles

“We are all a single organism, one nation. By becoming a single nation we have finally realised the unconscious spiritual and religious aspiration of the human soul, and this we can proclaim to every corner of the earth.”
“Biologists today consider life to be intimately related to the existence of the earth as a whole.  This concept can shed light on the need for a social order…. "

Maria Montessori, Education and Peace (1949)