A Cosmic Connection: Montessori and the World of Spiders

A Cosmic Connection: Montessori and the World of Spiders

Montessori Cosmic Education
Figure 1: Montessori is a Cosmic Education that teaches respect and protection of all living beings, including spiders!

For so many, spiders conjure frightening images and feelings; sadly, too many of these beautiful creatures see their demise as a result. 

It is heartbreaking to see how adults’, often unfounded fears, are so quickly passed on to our children. Children mimic our behavior, and if it is role-modeled that spiders should be instantaneously eradicated or killed, our children will do the same. Is this the loving behavior we wish to impart? 

Montessori believed wholeheartedly in role-modelling love and respect for all living beings. Her wish was to impart an understanding and respect for every creature’s role in the cosmos. 

Can we calm our fears and treat spiders with respect and care they deserve and perhaps even friend arachnids for our children’s sake?

Understanding Montessori as a Cosmic Education

Children connects with living creatures
Figure 2: Montessori is a Cosmic Education where children learn the interconnectedness of all living creatures.

Montessori is a holistic educational model based on the interconnectedness of all things; a philosophical approach coined Cosmic Education. Montessori provides the child ample opportunity to learn and discover the workings of the natural world, the greater cosmos and our role in protecting and creating a better world for future generations. Cosmic Education engages the child in biology, geography, history, science, and cultural studies to show the child how all topics interconnect into a holistic way of being.

If the idea of the universe be presented to the child in the right way, it will do more for him than just arouse his interest, for it will create in him admiration and wonder, a feeling loftier than any interest and more satisfying. The child’s mind will then no longer wander, but becomes fixed and can work. The knowledge he acquires is organized and systematic; his intelligence becomes whole and complete because of the vision of the whole that has been presented to him, and his interest spreads to all, for all are linked and have their place in the universe on which his mind is centred.” Maria Montessori 

Up until the age of six, children learn about the natural world through sensory experiences with nature. Through awareness, the child begins to develop an appreciation, care and respect for the natural environment and a willingness to protect and nurture the natural world around him.

From six to twelve, children begin their studies of the Great Lessons of Cosmic Education. The child learns at a much deeper level the fundamental needs of humans, the interconnectedness of all living beings and how every part of holistic education connects and intertwines. 

Let us give the children a vision of the universe…the universe is an imposing reality and the answer to all questions.Maria Montessori

Teach children about living creatures
Figure 3: Montessori education is a Cosmic Education model that teaches children about the interconnectedness and importance of all living beings within the whole.

Education and awareness are vital in developing a future generation that is informed, respectful, responsible and protective of every aspect of our precious natural world, including spiders!

It is important to note that our role is to work through our prejudices towards scary creatures such as spiders and understand their importance within our ecosystem. We need to develop respect for these incredible eight-legged wonders to role model this respect and protection to our children.

Cosmic Education: So why are spiders so crucial to our ecosystem?

Sadly, spiders are given a bad rap by many; however, they don’t mean any harm and are essential to the healthy functioning of our ecosystem; here’s why.

Spider webs designs
Figure 4: Cosmic Education: Spider webs inspire many engineering designs.

8 reasons why spiders deserve more respect

  1. Spiders eat pests such as mosquitoes, flies, moths, cockroaches, etc. and kindly keep our homes free of these unwanted pests. 
  2. Spiders prevent the spread of disease. Pests such as mosquitoes and flies can carry disease, and thankfully, spiders reduce their numbers in our homes and, as a result, keep us safer from disease.
  3. Spiders are non-aggressive. A spider will only attack if it feels threatened. So as long as you let lie, a spider will do you no harm.
  4. Spiders improve lives as their venom is used in many medicines. Spider venom is used medicinally as a pain killer and is helpful in heart conditions, epilepsy, cancer, and erectile dysfunction, amongst much more.
  5. Their silk webs inspire excellent engineering design. Biomimicry designers are fascinated by the workings of spider silk webs and often design their work around the fundamentals of nature’s intelligence.
  6. Spiders keep our crops free from destructive bugs such as aphids and caterpillars. With spiders, we can produce enough crops to feed our population. 
  7. Spiders are excellent mothers. Some spiders go so far as to sacrifice themselves as food for their offspring.
  8. Humans rely on spiders to survive. Spiders play an essential part in our ecosystem; without spiders, the ratio of invertebrates to vertebrates would be imbalanced. 

So now that we know why spiders are so crucial to our ecosystem, we can curb our irrational fears and show our children what it means to respect these incredible creatures and learn to befriend a spider.

‘We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.’ Maria Montessori

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