January 15, 2021
The Power of Peace
Today, January 18, is a holiday recognizing the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reverend King was a central figure in the Civil Rights Movement promoting non-violent activism as a means to protest racial discrimination and bring about change in federal and state laws. Dr. King was influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, learning about the power of peaceful protests through Gandhi’s non-violent resistance against the British Empire.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If we are to teach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with the children.” Maria Montessori, a great admirer and personal friend of Gandhi, agreed and recognized that peace begins with the individual child. Dr. Montessori felt strongly that establishing peace was the work of education. The goal of her educational method and philosophy was to create peaceful children who would become adult peacemakers in a world filled with conflict.
In the Montessori environment, Peace Education is just as much a part of the curriculum as reading, writing, and arithmetic. At all levels, children learn about respect for self, others, and their environment. Grace and courtesy lessons begin early along with peaceful conflict resolution skills. Montessori children learn that peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the willingness to work out conflicts peacefully.
Recent research by Harvard Professor Erica Chenoweth (published in her book “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict”) has shown that nonviolent movements in the period from 1900 - 2006 were far more successful than violent ones. Furthermore, her findings indicate that even failed non-violent movements ultimately led to longer-term, more broad-based change than violent campaigns.
In the tumultuous times in which we live, examples of peaceful activism like that of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are needed more than ever. To truly promote peace education, we must talk about it. So, on this MLK holiday, take a moment to talk with your child about peace and the power it has to transform the individual... and the world. Who knows, you may even learn a thing or two from them!
Dates to Remember
Remember that you can always check the MSA website calendar for upcoming calendar events.
January 18 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day - All Programs Closed, IT-PR extended day available
February 15 - President's Day - All Programs Closed, IT-PR extended day available
March 19 - All Programs Closed
March 22 - IT-UE closed for Conference Day, IT-PR extended day available
April 2 - All Programs Closed
April 5-9 - Spring Break - All Programs Closed, IT-PR extended day available