IRENE FAFALIOS | Montessori Education for Social Change


The family and education for peace

Director of Training at the AMI Training Centre in Athens

Irene Fafalios (M.A. Social Anthropology, AMI Dip. 0-3, 3-6, 6-12, EsF) lives and works in Athens, Greece, where she established the AMI Montessori training Centre - The MONTESSORI LAB, in 2002. She is an international lecturer, AMI trainer (3-6) and examiner, working closely with the AMI training Centre in Perugia. Above all else, she enjoys travelling and supporting her students as they endeavor to put Montessori into practice both in the classroom and beyond. She dreams of the day when “our work will no longer be necessary, because the Child will live in the freedom of his own development.”


"I look forward to seeing you in Prague, where we will be able to engage in discussion, exchange views, meet old friends, make new ones and enjoy the time we will all have together."

The Abstract

The promise of peace

What I believe unites us all in this world, is a need to express our inherent goodness and our yearning for peace ‘as a permanent way of life for all mankind’. We know that we can only truly express our humanity when and to the extent that we are non violent. Yet something has gone terribly wrong. Many of our very young children come to school already with serious disturbances so clearly evident in the way they interact with others and with their environment. We spend a good three years trying to calm their turbulent little lives, knowing that the roots of this disturbance lie in the ‘battleground’ of the home.

Talking to parents about this is difficult. But as teachers, talk we must. We need to collaborate and start a dialogue. It seems that "the family" is a breeding ground for pathologies! We need to help these parents restore balance and bring meaning to their lives so as to enabel their children to develop their true character in a less toxic environment. Parents need help as much as their children. By reminding ourselves of the fundamental human resources of love, kindness, compassion that every individual holds, we must all - teachers, parents and children - begin to transform and relive our lives with greater awareness, reverence and purpose.