International Day of Peace

Tuesday 21st September 2021

On this day, 21 September, we mark forty years of the International Day of Peace. This day was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly and has been designated as a day of non-violence and cease-fire. This year’s theme is “recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world”.

Cast your mind back 83 years to 21 September 1938, when Maria Montessori opens her first training course at the newly established training centre in Laren, the Netherlands. In the introductory lecture, she addressed students and officials in attendance. Montessori called everyone to action: the kind of action that inspires to contribute to a better world.

“Let’s unite, teachers and pupils alike. We all have to commit unanimously to a common and noble goal: to serve humanity.” 
“In these terrible and dangerous times (…) there is a strong spiritual presence, and that is the child who is free to become his own person.” 
“Today we ask for everybody’s help.” 

The photo shows the closing lecture of this same course in 1939. We see Maria Montessori together with her translator Caroline Tromp, an influential Dutch Montessori teacher and trainer.

Maria Montessori 1938