[98th Cruise Report] Travel with Children, Montessori Education


Some people believe it is really hard to travel with children.

There are so many things to be concerned about that they would rather stay at home.

However, on the 98th voyage of Peace Boat, there are many children aged one to ten.  They learn and experience new things from the on board nursery school, held by Ms. Takako Fukatsu.

The onboard nursery school starts with a key concept of “Peace starts with children,” focusing on the experience of introducing them to different cultures and Montessori-style education.

The children in the onboard nursery school experience various aspects of “real life.“ They cut up food, using kitchen utensils that are adjusted for children, and they also sew and learn to calculate things from daily life. In ports, children experience different cultures either in a tour or in free time. They notice “people in a different country eat the same food differently,” says Ms. Fukatsu. Then they realize, “They are all different, but each way is good.”

Children have no prejudice towards the world and see it as it is. The experience of perceiving things as they are in childhood influences the way they perceive things from diverse angles when they become adults.  “Onboard Montessori Program” is founded on the belief that this will also be a seed to grow peace.

Ms. Fukatsu described Montessori education in her speech. In traditional styles of education, children are thought to be like an empty bucket. Parents will continously try to fill the bucket with what they believe is good. On the other hand, Montessori education believes that children are like the seed of a tulip. The seed already has everything needed and it decides when to germinate and blossom. All we can do is to provide a good environment for them and they will grow up on their own.

These are the globes Ms. Takako showed as an example of Montessori philosophy. You can see there is no border between each country. When the kids see these globes, they will understand the earth is made out of water and land. So we are sharing the limited resources together. And there are no borders in nature. We are one world. This is one of the reasons we think “Peace starts with children.”

Peace Boat isn’t only about educating adults, but educating children too.