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Cosmic Education and its impact on Peace Education and Care of the Environment

CONVENER(S): Michael Duffy and Penelope Bliss Daly

PARTICIPANTS: Adele Magidson, Maggie Kruger, Pamela Miller, Rachel Culver, Leah Black, Stacy Gumul, Jill Guenther, Najma, Ursula Escuza, Mary Kay Welsh, Salena Hafiz, Marie Scott, Judi Charlap, Suzanna Deubil, Rhonda Kamens, Carole Campbell, Susan Smith.


We talked in general terms about how Cosmic Education helps children understand who they are, where they come from and why they're here. From learning their origins through the evolutionary process, they learn to appreciate their unity with the rest of humanity and their brotherhood with other life forms on Earth. The impact on Peace Education and Care of the Environment follows from such a curriculum.

We then got into a discussion of the place of evolution in the thought and teachings of Montessori. Several participants expressed concern about this approach conflicting with the beliefs of their students - or even their own beliefs. Others pointed out that the beauty of the Montessori program was its openness to all cultures and religions, and that there need be no conflict between the teaching of evolution and one's religious beliefs. the whole issue of interdependency was emphasized as the important piece to teach children, regardless of our beliefs in how this came about.

We talked about Cosmic Education being part of a lifelong search for most of us on the issue of our identity and the meaning of life, a journey we continue with our students. Several participants stressed how important they believed it was to invite students to build their own belief systems and avoid imposing one on them.

On the specific issue of Peace Education, we got involved in a lengthy discussion of the dangerous impact of excessive television viewing or video games played by our young people. Many of the participants had stories to tell about the effects they witnessed of such influences on their students.

We also talked about the difficulty of helping children overcome the impact of what the rest of society teaches them, including their parents at times. Children are sometimes taught to use violence to solve their difficulties or conflicts, and we have to give them the language and other tools they need to use alternative means of solving conflicts.

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Last edited February 14, 2003 2:42 pm USA Pacific Time (diff)