Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At Montessori Children’s House of Valley Forge, we are inclusive of and guided by, diverse experiences, backgrounds, need, and points of view. Our close-knit community is committed to the well-being of its members and the broader whole. Intrinsic in the Montessori philosophy and woven through our curriculum are important teachings that instill values of equity and inclusion in our students.
Respect for Diversity
Maria Montessori believed that young children should study the similarities and differences between communities around the globe in order to build an early and growing awareness of our diverse, interconnected world. Children in the Montessori classroom begin by looking at the world as a whole. They then begin the study of local regions, cultures, and geography of the United States and all of the continents.
Students at MCHVF come from a variety of rich cultural backgrounds. This allows us a unique way to introduce students to other cultures and customs and to study countries in a variety of different ways.
Our curriculum incorporates celebrating a vast number of cultural holidays, through which the students celebrate as a classroom, learning the history and background of the holiday and its cultural significance.
We include various stories and lessons throughout the year about celebrating differences via reading materials and hands-on activities to showcase the vast range of human qualities to be celebrated, including racial, religious, gender and physical differences. Our Library hosts a wide range of age-appropriate books about diversity as well.
The hallmark of our Kindergarten curriculum includes learning about seven different countries around the world. This year, the students are learning about Argentina, India, Spain, Scotland, Philippines, Turkey and Kenya. Our Kindergarteners learn about the geography, language, religion, customs and songs from each country. At the end of the year, the students enjoy an International Luncheon where they sample food from the countries they learned about. This education is likely one of our students’ first educational experiences that teaches them to become respectful of the world around them.
Teaching for Peace
Learning to function in a peaceful, caring community is the backbone of a harmonious Montessori environment. Teaching a child to be kind, respectful and empathetic are vital skills that every Montessori educator works hard to achieve. These skills are taught and reinforced each and every day through modeling and grace and courtesy lessons. Additionally, peaceful conflict resolution is one of the most important life skills taught at Montessori schools, and it’s closely related to the cultural appreciation encouraged by the curriculum.