The sole purpose of Cosmic Education is to help the child realize his place within the whole. The Cosmic Curriculum, which is the foundation of all learning in the elementary classroom, is designed to arouse a child’s curiosity in the world around him. The child at the elementary age is full of wonder and questions about the world. The core of the Cosmic Curriculum lies in the Great Lessons – five dramatic presentations that spark the imagination, inspire a passion for learning, and anchor the work in other areas, serving as a starting point for further study and research.
These five Great Lessons each have a theme that answers big picture questions that the child is interested in and help them determine the cosmic task of everything on Earth. These lessons can be thought of as one continual story about the creation of the universe through current time. The lessons are given in order to show how the universe prepared for life as we know it. The Five Great Lessons are The Story of the Universe, The Story of Life, The Coming of Man, The Story of Language, and The Story of Numbers. (For more information, see the Cosmic Chronicle Newsletter for a link to a PowerPoint presentation about the Great Lessons.)
These five stories set the stage for a holistic education, where the child can understand from a top down approach his place in the world and how what he is learning is connected to everything else in his life. The Cosmic Curriculum aims to teach “The Whole Child,” recognizing that we are the sum total of our lives rather than fragmented experiences. To gain knowledge, one must experience life by doing, not solely through dictation or observation. The Montessori environment does just that.
Through this study of the history and science of the natural world, as well as the belief and traditions of diverse cultures, children find their place in society, functioning as an active contributing individual working for peace. Education for peace asks cosmic questions such as, “What role does man play upon Earth? Are other creatures as significant as human beings? What place does man have in the cosmos?” This teaching stresses the importance of human beings working together and maintaining a universal balance with nature. We know the importance of our interdependence in the universe and also how everything that has life is charged with special gifts that they will share with the world. Since our time on the Earth is ever so minute, we teach the importance of making each moment in life count for creating more good in the world. “Establishing a lasting peace is the work of education.” Maria Montessori