Magazine article Montessori Life

Respecting Differences

Magazine article Montessori Life

Respecting Differences

Article excerpt

At my local food market, at checkout, I am always asked, "Did you find everything you were looking for?" I want to respond (but do not), "Well, I was looking for world peace and respect for all life but could not find that aisle." Perhaps some day, but until then, as teachers, parents, grandparents, and Montessori graduates, we are charged with holding fast to our commitment to respect all life and all people, no matter how different we perceive them to be·, in adherence to Montessori's belief that the problem in education was not pedagogical but psychological (Montessori, 1967, p. 352), a problem to be solved by changing the way we see and treat others.

In The Discovery of the Child, Maria Montessori proclaimed: "The concept of liberty which should inspire teaching is.. .universal: it is the liberation of a life repressed by an infinite number of obstacles which oppose its harmonious development, both physical and spiritual" (Montessori, 1967, p. 10).

Montessori, however prescient, could not imagine the future in which we live; nevertheless, her belief that liberty leads to the freedom of each individual for development remains resonant.

The summer issue of Montessori Life presents a thoughtful examination of the experiences of growing up gay, presented from the viewpoints of a millennial and a baby boomer, with suggestions of ways to support LGBTQstudents in a school environment (page 38).

Also in this issue, a professional researcher and a mother of a transgender child offer an informative look at gender diversity in the classroom (page 50), and we present the second article in a three-part series about students with sensory processing disorders (page 44). …

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