Education, to me, has always been about more than what you can teach someone academically. We live in a world where everything is so fast paced and where everyone has to be the same. Individuality is something rare I feel, and you see that more and more often in our educational institutions.
Having a cosmic education sounds like something so abstract and hard to swallow, yet it’s beginnings are rooted in all we do and all we are. For as long as we have been on this planet, there has always been a sense of awe and wonder of the greater universe. What tends to happen, especially when one thinks of these terms in the sense of education, is that we tend to ignore it or become unaware of it. “This must be a central facet of human existence: to have the truth right in front of us and yet be unable to see it or recognize it” (Swimme 1996).
The beauty of this cosmic educational philosophy is that we start to open our minds and open the possibilities that live inside each of us. Often times we close ourselves off, or fit our worlds inside a box, and forget that there is more to life than just a great score on a paper or finding that perfect career. Cosmic education allows an adolescent to see the bigger picture and guides them to a broader understanding of not only who they are in their stage of development, but also where they fit along that path of life. “By learning the ways of the universe and reflecting upon them as they surface in the daily life of family and work and community, we take the first steps into a new form of human understanding and existence” (Swimme 1996).
As an adolescent, there are many changes that come along, this only adds to the confusion and chaos that goes with growing up in our world. Having a better grasp, and allowing a cosmic education to occur, not just an academic one, students can develop their own road map through life and gather their own understanding of the life skills that are most valuable to them. To be able to incorporate a cosmic education, we allow adolescents to stop and reflect on their journey, rather than press along at the fast pace that society pushes them to be on. “None of the other animals of the world needs to engage in such reflections. They enter life and are given their basic relationships through genetic programs that have been fashioned over millions of years. All except the human know their proper place in the world. But the human requires something different, something more than genetic codes. Humans require a cultural orientation” (Swimme 1996).
That is where a Montessori Education, with a cosmic awareness, comes in to play. This educational philosophy shows us that we cannot be afraid to explore our inner self. Long ago we as a society decided we didn’t need that in our schools. “Many classrooms are spiritually empty not by accident, but by design” (Kessler 2000). A cosmic awareness and education puts the soul back in to our classrooms.