Is Cosmic Education a bit weird? What does it have to do with Montessori education?
Cosmic education is the centre of Montessori 6-12 education.
A really simple definition of it would be an approach to education that helps students grow an awareness that everything in the universe is connected and interdependent so that they see themselves as being a connected peaceful person working for a peaceful world.
In the 6-12 class, cosmic education is the centre of the spider web from which everything else connects to. Now, if you think of that spider web analogy for a little bit more when a spider builds a spider web they don't start in the middle as there is nothing for them to hold on, the spider web is built gradually.
For example some spiders release a strand of silk and it floats in the breeze until it anchors itself to another point and then the spider starts building from there. This is similar to the Cosmic Curriculum. Throughout the child's life in 0-6 we 'release the strand of silk' of Cosmic Education through our presentations, connection to the natural world and our peaceful classrooms, that is the thing that we build the cosmic education upon.
Earlier I was talking about a spider web and using it as an analogy. I talked about that one line of silk that a spider throws over before it catches onto a pole or branch and how this was like what the 3-6 Montessori curriculum does.
Now it is not just one line of silk that the cobweb is built on, cob webs have other anchor points. For the 6-12 Montessori classroom, these other anchor points are the Great Lessons or stories that help hook the child into Cosmic Education.
As I said earlier the great lessons don't equal cosmic education they are part of it. So, when we are giving other lessons such as a lesson on biomes, we make links to the big themes of cosmic education such as connection, living in harmony, the environment. A lesson on endangered animals may lead us to link back to how humans have changed the environment and what we can do to make things better.
For children to get a cosmic education we need to:
- make connections explicit to children about connections of things they are learning to the world
- deliver a range of lessons to the child from a wide variety of curriculum areas
- give the Great Lessons
- be socially aware and educate and advocate about social injustice so our students can direct their energy to something purposeful and helpful.
Check out my huge range of Montessori 6-12 materials here including activities for the Great Lessons and other montessori 6-12 curriculum.