Montessori Cosmic Education & Scripture


(Simone) #1

@Homeschool_Forum If anyone is familiar with Montessori education, one of the “Great Lessons” they cover is Cosmic Education, ie. creation and/or the Big Bang. There are various scripts out there for how to go about this lesson with children, but I recently found one that had Bible verses included with it. I thought this could be a useful too.

"In the Beginning: The first four days of Creation"

Here is a link to the PDF of the lesson:


(Brad Kramer) #2

(Brad Kramer) #5

(Christy Hemphill) #6

Thanks for posting. It looks like there would be some nice object lessons for explaining certain basic concepts to kids. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the science in the explanations is wrong. This illustrates my major frustration with most Christian homeschool materials. You shouldn’t have to fact check every sentence to make sure the person writing it knows what they are talking about, but alas you do have to. It seems like they were trying really hard to make scientific cosmology match up with the Genesis days, but it just doesn’t.

For example, these are a few things I noticed skimming through:

“There was heat –heat so intense that all matter -iron, gold, rocks, water -existed as a gas. The countless little particles raced around in chaos and when they rammed into each other, they ceased to exist. Matter is not capable of organizing itself.”

That is misleading. It was subatomic particles that existed, not matter in gas form. You need stars to create most of the heavier atoms. And matter does self-organize all the time according to established laws of physics.

“When Earth first began to form, it was so hot that it was just a cloud of whirling gasses.”

Gases and stardust, actually.

“First the liquids separated from the gases. The lighter liquids forming the waters in the sky and the waters of the earth. Even though the Earth was cooling, it was still very, very, very hot.”

This is just wrong. Without an atmosphere, water would just evaporate into space. I think asteroids are the leading model for how earth got it’s oceans. The atmosphere came from vapors from reactions in the earth’s interior long after it was formed, not from the cooling of the earth. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-did-water-come-to-earth-72037248/
http://teachertech.rice.edu/Participants/louviere/history.html

“Because some of the hot particles were trapped and still wanting to rush back toward the coolness of the water, all over Earth volcanoes began to explode into the waters and eventually above the waters. The steam from the hot explosions caused great clouds to form over this new world. When the hot particles had finished their explosions Earth cooled again. Then the rains began to fall. More of the gasses became liquids and more and more liquids became solids. The earth became wrinkled as it cooled, like an old potato. The wrinkles became mountains, and in the hollows the waters remained and became the oceans, lakes and rivers. (water cycle)”

I don’t think this is right either. The crust cooled, but the mantle and core were still really hot due to radioactive disintegration in the core. The magma and water vapor and other gasses broke through the weak places in the cooled crust, resulting in the formation of tectonic plates. (maybe along with other events like cooling at different rates or earthquakes.) It is tectonic plates shifting and crashing into one another that creates mountains. And again, the hydrosphere as we know it did not exist yet.

“Seed-bearing and fruit-bearing plants were the first life forms to appear on Earth.”

Nope. It was prokaryotes. Seed bearing plants were a LONG way off.


(Dennis Venema) #7

Yep. Angiosperms (flowering plants) in particular are quite late in evolution. The earliest fossils are from around 160 MYA. By comparison, the first tetrapods are back around 350 MYA.


(Simone) #9

You are right. I just skimmed it and got excited and didn’t read all the details. I wonder why this author would try so hard to make it fit within the days of Genesis… maybe because Maria Montessori was a Christian, but also thought the “Cosmic Education” of the beginning of life and humans was along the lines of Evolution… so… makes me curious how Maria herself taught this. I know this was meant for very young children, but still… they are clever enough to understand the complexities and see when things don’t add up, in my experience.


(Christy Hemphill) #10

Well, she was born in 1870. We know a lot more now in all the fields those lessons touched on. It was very common to try to fit science into the Genesis framework. It still is. That’s basically what old earth creationism is.


(Dennis Venema) #11

Prior to the 1960s and the publication of The Genesis Flood, most evangelicals were ok with an old earth. Young earth creationism was mostly the province of Seventh-day Adventism back then. So, I agree with Christy - she was probably taking science as she understood it (with some errors) and lining it up with Genesis. Of course, @TedDavis is the go-to guy for this sort of historical context. Montesorri was Italian, right? I’m not sure how that plays into it. I know less about creationism outside of the English-speaking world.


(Simone) #12

Yes Montessori was Italian. She was the first female Italian doctor I believe as well. In Waldorf education there is also a lot about Creation and Evolution together. Currently I’m still in the early stages of doing research into these three educational philosophies, but I find it interesting that they all embrace both Christian creationism and evolution at the same time. Maybe they don’t all take it to the same degree, but just the fact that they don’t see there being any controversy is interesting. Then again Montessori was Italian, Mason was British, and Rudolf Steiner who started Waldorf was Austrian, so that could also have something to do with it. Just a different worldview coming from outside of North America.