Apple Montessori Blog

Inspiring Peace and Conflict Resolution at Apple Montessori


As founder of the Montessori philosophy of child development and education more than 100 years ago, Dr. Maria Montessori believed that establishing peace begins with education. Having lived through two World Wars, she believed that “everyone talks about peace, but no one educates for peace. People educate for competition, and this is the beginning of any war. When we educate to cooperate and be in solidarity with one another, that day we will be educating for peace."

This perspective is why Peace Education plays a fundamental role at Apple Montessori Schools. Our staff works towards nurturing the whole child in an environment that prepares children to be good members of their communities and global citizens. This happens through acknowledging and empowering their unique abilities to harness kindness and love to improve the world around them.

Peace Education at Apple Montessori begins by encouraging respectful, helpful, and kind behavior among students in our multi-age classrooms spanning three grade levels. We know that children cannot learn when they are emotionally upset or feel insecure in their surroundings. At an early age, children are taught to be polite, courteous, and empathetic toward one other. By listening mindfully and taking time out when problems occur, students learn to find solutions and resolve conflicts more readily without violence.

In and out of the classroom, our staff encourages peaceful behavior. First, our teachers act as positive role models. Children learn from the behaviors they see. We create a classroom environment of compassion, understanding, and forgiveness to help children relate to others calmly and cooperatively.

Peace can be practiced in many ways. It can be as simple as quiet moments where children are engaged in thoughtful activities independently or in collaboration with others. If conflicts arise, we often use practical conflict resolution techniques, including:

  • Road of peace: Children experiencing discord can walk a felt "Road of difficulty," where they are guided and taught to make choices that lead them forward to the "Road of peace."
  • Circles of self-awareness: Four concentric circles represent the symbols of body, mind, emotion, and spirit. The largest circle symbolizes the body, which holds the smaller circles of mind, emotion, and spirit. By manipulating the circles, the child is encouraged to express their feelings and create harmony within the circles and themselves.
  • Love light: Children can wear a "love light" when they want to inform their peers they are in a happy state. The love light serves as a signal to help children communicate their positive feelings.
  • Peace object exercise: Children experiencing conflict can sit in a circle facing each other. A designated peace object, such as a flower, is shared among the children. The child holding the peace object speaks without interruption. The peace object is then passed to the next child, who also speaks without interruption. The children listen to each other thoughtfully and respectfully to help understand each other's point of view and work toward resolving the conflict peacefully. Similarly, a designated peace corner or table is often used to provide a safe space for children to express their feelings and find calmness and serenity to quiet their emotions.
  • Caring for their environment: Simple tasks like watering plants, gardening, and organizing their surroundings promote peace and tranquility with a sense of purpose and respect for the world around them.

At Apple Montessori Schools, we create a welcoming, nurturing environment for children to grow and develop peacefully with grace, dignity, and respect. Ultimately, we want children to see the good in each other and bring out the best in themselves to serve their family, community, and world well as they grow.

In every child, there is hope for peace.

"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 preparation of young people to understand the times in which they live."

-Dr. Maria Montessori