THE VALUE AND BENEFITS OF TWINNING
- Connection to the rest of the world and to theplanet
- Via this connection a sense of responsibility to the children who live on the rest of the planet
- A realisation and respect for how other cultures live
- Concentrating on similarities first, we hope to facilitate connections of being able to relate to each other
- As with the Tumaini ethos we want to promote and foster empathy, tolerance, understanding and respect between the children that will start through this relationship and then extend further into all their relationships
- Shared project topics where the children learn about the same thing at the same time and the artwork is shared at the end so the children can look at and admire each other’s work
- Skype conversations
- Sharing news where we write letters as a group to each other
- Pen- palling, where two children are paired and write to each other/ send pictures etc. build a unique friendship, the creation of friendship books
- Picture and photo exchange
- Learning about each other: where they live, what they eat, what they like to play…
Citizens of the World
Montessori wrote extensively about the importance of children being connected to and grounded to reality. She spoke of the unifying voice of humanity and of our duty to educate children to be aware that it is our humanity that unites us. However, she believed that with an awareness of humanity comes responsibility; a responsibility to each other and to the planet. She called children ‘Citizens of the World’, and with this evocative title, she smashed down concepts of country, gender, religion, race, privilege and disability.
She deemed it essential for children from a very early age to be aware of these connections and responsibilities. To give them ownership of this, she believed ultimately freed them. Montessori wrote that the essential building blocks for a normalised, functioning, grounded and happy personality were to receive an awareness of their connection to the planet, to the people on it. She believed that this would give a child a sense of belonging and purpose that would remain within them their whole lives; a sense of belonging not to just their immediate families but to their communities and in a wider context to their fellow man.
Montessori predicted and feared a lot of the social problems we encounter in modern society that have a huge impact on the wellbeing of our children. Modern living has seen the dissolution of the family unit and the rise of technology that has seemingly replaced communication and socialisation with actual people.
The irony is, that in a modern society, with children being encouraged and able to access the internet as well as use various multi- media you would think that children have never been more connected and so easily connected to the world around them. I would argue that it is entirely the opposite case; that western children have never been so disassociated from the planet than they are now. Modern living has in fact made us more and more disconnected from the real world, from the planet, from our fellow man, from our fellow citizens of the world.