“An education capable of saving humanity is no small undertaking; it involves the spiritual development of man, the enhancement of his value as an individual, and the preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live.” - Dr. Maria Montessori, Education and Peace
Mayflower families and families around the country and the world are processing the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd and the resulting aftermath of anti-racist protests and calls for change. We have resources here for families who are struggling with how to talk about race, racism, bias and difference with their children. Through these important and challenging conversations, children can learn the skills of being anti-racists who can contribute to a peaceful, equitable world.
We as a school are working toward being a community that practices peace. The racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity at Mayflower brings us great hope for the children who spend their formative childhood years here. We are fostering a deep love for every brother and sister. As each child moves forward into adulthood, he or she will bring with them this loving, peaceful foundation that will extend around the globe, to all people. This is our great hope for Montessori education and especially Montessori education that is accessible to all.
As part of becoming peaceful leaders and global citizens, children need to understand that in our world right now, people of different racial or ethnic backgrounds get treated in unequal (and unfair) ways. This can be hard to talk about with children, but if we don't talk about it, they still notice differences but draw their own (sometimes mid-guided) conclusions. We as adults need to help children notice and celebrate our racial and ethnic differences, while also learning (in age-appropriate ways) how racism and bias impact people in our world.
Resources for an anti-bias Thanksgiving By age 3 or 4, children who are asked to draw pictures of Native Americans show native peoples in stereotyped or violent ways (think headdresses and tomahawks). Our work as anti-bias caregivers and educators is to give children stories and conversations that help them see the breadth and depth of Native American life, contemporary and historical. Common Thanksgiving images and stories are often not helpful in that regard, and often portray stereotypes while showing biased history and perspectives. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, you may be looking for ways to talk about the Thanksgiving tradition in an anti-bias, anti-racist way. Here are some resources to help caregivers understand the history and talk with their children.